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Director Penalties – Workplace Relations Act

Penalties can be imposed personally against a director for breaches by the employer.

In a Federal Magistrates Court recently, penalties of $240,000 against the company and $48,000 against the director were imposed for breaches.

 

A cleaning business engaged two casual employees, but neither were paid any wages or superannuation.  The employees worked a substantial number of shifts before the Workplace Ombudsman brought action against the company and obtained orders that the company pay the wages, superannuation and some interest.  It did not comply.  The company did not defend, nor attend any of the proceedings.

 

At the next hearing the court had regard to the deliberate nature of the breaches and in the absence of any contrition, the fines imposed significantly exceeded the wages and superannuation that was owing.

 

This decision is a reminder that the corporate veil does not eliminate all responsibilities nor protect directors from fundamental responsibilities.

28th-September-2009