Gold Coast telco Polyfone Telecom taken to court by Fair Work over alleged staff underpayment

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Gold Coast telco Polyfone Telecom taken to court by Fair Work over alleged staff underpayment

The Fair Work Ombudsman has taken Gold Coast-based Polyfone Telecom and director Paul Desmond Wallace to court for allegedly underpaying one of the company’s employees.

Fair Work in 2021 found Polyfone underpaid a former full-time bookkeeper between December 2014 and September 2020 and issued the company a compliance notice in February that year. Its investigation found the employee was owed some 600 hours of accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements on termination, as well as personal leave and superannuation entitlements.

Polyfone and Wallace allegedly did not comply with Fair Work’s compliance notice by not paying the employee’s entitlements in full, and has commenced legal action against them. Fair Work said the employee has been partially back-paid, but still owes them $28,120.80.

The regulator is seeking penalties for the alleged failure to comply with the notice, with Polyfone facing up to $33,300 in penalties and Wallace facing a penalty of up to $6,660. Fair Work is also seeking an order to pay the worker’s entitlements in full, including interest and superannuation.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Brisbane on 15 August 2022.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take business operators to court when they fail to act on compliance notices.

“Where employers do not comply, we are prepared to take appropriate legal action to ensure employees receive their lawful entitlements. A court can order a business to pay penalties on top of having to back-pay workers,” Parker said.

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

Polyfone is an internet service provider offering business internet services and VoIP solutions through its own microwave wireless network, servicing the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba. It also offers fibre and NBN product offerings and Cloud PABX solutions.

Earlier this year, Fair Work issued a compliance notice to Sydney-based Microsoft partner and managed services provider D365 Group, directing the company to pay its employee entitlements in full.

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