Sydney roofing business operator penalised

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured court orders for more than $12,000 in penalties and back-payment against the operator of a roofing business in Sydney.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed a penalty of $6,300 against sole trader Winiata Tipene, who operates ‘The brothers metal roofing’.

The penalty was imposed in response to Mr Tipene failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring him to back-pay entitlements to two workers he employed as a full-time roof plumber and casual labourer between March and August 2021.

The court has also ordered Mr Tipene to fix the contraventions in the Compliance Notice by back-paying the workers a total of $6,666, plus calculating and paying superannuation and interest.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face court-imposed penalties 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.

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”

The FWO investigated after receiving requests for assistance from the affected workers.

The Compliance Notice was issued in October 2021 after a Fair Work Inspector formed a belief that the workers had not been paid all entitlements owed under the Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2020 and the National Employment Standards.

The inspector formed a belief that the roof plumber, aged 20 to 21 at the time, was underpaid minimum wages, a range of allowances and annual leave entitlements, and that the labourer was underpaid casual minimum hourly rates, allowances and Saturday penalty rates.

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