Residential building and construction services business in court

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operator of a residential building and construction services business in south-west Sydney.

Facing court is Humza Moussa, who operated Xteria Designs in Leppington.

The regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from a young worker Mr Moussa employed on a casual basis as a labourer between November 2021 and January 2022.

At the time, Mr Moussa was operating the business as a sole trader and the worker was aged 15.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Mr Moussa in August 2022 after forming a belief the worker was owed entitlements under the Building and Construction General On-site Award 2020.

The inspector formed a belief that Mr Moussa did not pay the worker any wages for the final two weeks of work he performed, resulting in the underpayment of his casual minimum wage, casual loading and industry allowances.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Mr Moussa, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required him to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements.

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

“Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties and make payments to workers,” Ms Booth said.

“Improving compliance in the building and construction industry and protecting young workers are among our top priorities.

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance.”

The FWO is seeking a penalty in court. Mr Moussa faces a penalty of up to $6,660 for the alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notice.

The regulator is also seeking an order for Mr Moussa to pay amounts allegedly owing to the employee, plus superannuation and interest.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Sydney on 28 June 2024.

/Public Release. View in full here.