Lo­cal firm hit with $90,000 in fines

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.

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