Landscaping company penalised

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured $18,000 in penalties in court against a Sydney landscaping company and its director.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed a penalty of $15,000 against Precise Fencing and Landscaping Pty Ltd, and a $3,000 penalty against the company’s sole director, Kurt John Dean.

The penalties were imposed in response to Precise Fencing and Landscaping failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring it to calculate and back-pay entitlements to a landscape gardener the company employed on a full-time basis between July 2021 and March 2022. Mr Dean was involved in the contravention.

In addition to the penalties, the Court has ordered Precise Fencing and Landscaping to back-pay the worker in full, plus interest.

Fair Work Ombudsman Anna Booth 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 will continue to take legal action. Employers who fail to act on these notices risk substantial penalties and back-pay orders,” Ms Booth said.

“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 Precise Fencing and Landscaping in May 2022 after forming a belief the worker was not paid accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements owed at the end of his employment under the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.

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