Enforceable Undertaking compels manufacturing firm to correct workplace mistakes
An Altona-based manufacturing company has been ordered to repay seven of its workers more than $100,000 after the Fair Work Ombudsman executed an enforceable undertaking with it for underpayment.
Melbourne-based Transfab Reinforcement Australia Pty Ltd, which prepares pre-fabricated housing materials, paid the workers – all of Indian background speaking limited English – low flat rates when they worked from March 2015 to September 2016. Two of the workers were international students.
The seven workers were employed to bend and weld steel on a production line in Altona. Six were engaged as full-time or casual factory workers while the other was a qualified welder. They were paid hourly rates of between $18 and $22.
But under the Manufacturing and Associated Industries and Occupations Award 2010, the workers were variously entitled to higher rates for ordinary hours, casual loading, regular shift work, and Saturday and overtime hours.
Transfab also failed to pay workers’ full annual leave entitlements and to keep all necessary employment records, including of hours worked.
The Fair Work Ombudsman began an investigation after the workers sought its help last year.
The company cooperated in the investigation and rectified all underpayments totalling $103,918.
The Enforceable Undertaking is an alternative to litigation; under the EU Transfab admitted to its contraventions of the law.
Under the EU, Transfab was also made to make a $5,000-donation to community workplace law centre Job Watch. It was made to write a letter of apology to the workers and display notices, in the workplace and on its web site, detailing its breaches of workplace law.
Aside from these, Transfab must also: