Former campervan hire business operators penalised

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a total of $6,000 in penalties in court against the former operators of a campervan hire business in Hobart.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed the penalties against married couple Brian Douglas McCullagh and Helen June McCullagh, whose business traded as ‘McCullagh Enterprises’, based at Hobart Airport.

The penalties were imposed in response to Mr and Ms McCullagh failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring them to calculate and back-pay entitlements to a Filipino visa holder they employed as a casual campervan cleaner between September 2018 and March 2020.

Mr and Ms McCullagh back-paid the worker her outstanding entitlements of $14,060 only after the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal action.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face penalties in court on top of having to back-pay workers.

“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.

“Employers should also be aware that taking action to protect vulnerable employees, such as visa holder workers, is a priority for the agency. Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”

The FWO investigated after receiving a request for assistance from the affected worker.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Mr and Ms McCullagh in July 2021 after forming a belief the worker had been underpaid the casual minimum wages, overtime rates, and penalty rates for weekend and public holiday work, owed under the General Retail Industry Award 2010.

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