Furniture transport business faces court

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operators of a Brisbane-based business that transports furniture.

Facing the Federal Circuit and Family Court is Davis Furniture Logistics Pty Ltd and its director Cathy Davis.

The regulator began an investigation after a request for assistance from a former casual driver who worked for the company between July and August 2020.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to the company in November 2020 after forming a belief that the employee, who was paid a flat hourly rate, had not been paid what he was owed under the Road Transport (Long Distance Operations) Award 2020.

The inspector formed a belief that the driver was underpaid casual loading, the loading and unloading rate, and a travel allowance.

The FWO alleges the company, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice which required it to calculate and back-pay the employee’s entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.

“Under the Fair Work Act, Compliance Notices are important tools used by inspectors if they form a belief that an employer has breached workplace laws,” Ms Parker said.

“Where employers do not comply with our requests, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers. Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance.”

For the alleged Compliance Notice contravention, the company faces penalties of up to $33,300 and Ms Davis faces penalties of up to $6,300.

In addition to penalties, the regulator is seeking a court order for the company to take the action the Compliance Notice requires, which includes calculating and rectifying any underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.

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