Local firm hit with $90,000 in fines
THE owner of an Airlie Beach security contractor has been hit with $90,000 in fines after he failed to pay four employees almost $10,000 for work they performed.
Koongal man Douglas Charles Kidd has been fined $15,000 and his Airlie Beachbased company Mordel Pty Ltd, which trades as Spartan Security Group, has been fined a further $75,000.
The penalties, imposed in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane, are the result of legal action by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Mordel has also been ordered to pay four security guards a total of $9704 it failed to pay them for short periods of work they completed in 2013.
One of the employees is owed $4272 for about three weeks’ work.
Another of Mr Kidd’s former employees, Simon Collie, said he is still owed $4700 and remains doubtful over whether he will ever see his money.
“I don’t think I’m ever going to see it. I’m not holding my breath,” he said.
Mr Collie began working for Spartan Security in February 2014 and finished up in June that year.
Mr Collie, who has 14 years experience in the security in- dustry, said Mr Kidd was consistently late with his payments over the six months he worked for him.
“I never once saw a pay slip,” he said.
“I wouldn’t know what one would look like from Spartan Security.”
The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated after the employees contacted the agency for help.
Mr Kidd and his company failed to respond to two Compliance Notices issued by Fair Work inspectors.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said the court’s decision sends a message to employers that failing to pay employees for work they perform is serious misconduct and will not be tolerated.
“Legal actions such as this also assist employers who are doing the right thing by their employees, because it helps them to compete on a level playing field,” she said.
Ms James said it was of concern that after warning Mr Kidd over the non-payment of wages, the Fair Work Ombudsman had since received further allegations of underpayment from other Mordel employees.
These have resulted in Mordel back-paying three employees more than $5000.