The director of Queensland-based NBN contractor Attain Solutions has been taken to court over allegations the company failed to pay an employee.
The Fair Work Ombudsman took Attain Solutions director Bradley Wells to the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane, alleging he did not pay an 18-year-old labourer for 150 hours of work.
The employee was digging trenches and laying pipes at various locations in South-East Queensland during those hours in June 2017 and received no wages. The regulator started investigating after the employee requested assistance.
“Young workers can be particularly vulnerable to exploitation because they are often unaware of their entitlements or reluctant to complain,” ombudsman Sandra Parker said.
“Any employer that fails to comply with their fundamental obligation to pay wages for work performed will face serious consequences.”
Attain Solutions, which was placed into liquidation last year, provided civil works and underground services for other NBN contractors working on the network in Queensland.
Fair Work said that under the Electrical, Electronic and Communications Contracting Award 2010, the employee was entitled to a total of $3945 in minimum wages, casual loadings, overtime and an industry allowance.
The company allegedly also failed to comply with a Notice to Produce Records and Documents issued during the investigation, saying Wells was also involved.
The case is listed for a directions hearing in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane, with Wells facing up to $10,800 per contravention. Fair Work is also seeking a court order to back-pay the employee in full.
“We urge any young workers with concerns about their wages or entitlements to contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free advice and assistance,” Parker said.