Sydney printer owes migrant workers $229,000

Sydney print finishing business Mega Tabs Services and its operator Lloyd Lam will face the Federal Circuit Court for allegedly failing to back pay $229,564 to 14 migrant workers.

In July last year, Fair Work Inspectors issued a Compliance Notice to the company requiring it to pay the money to the 14 workers, allegedly owed between $4,105 and $36,666, by 27 August 2018, which the FWO claims was not complied with.

The workers were from Korea, and in the country on 417 working holiday visas. The FWO says they were paid a flat hourly rate of #13 to cut, glue, and assemble paper and cardboard at the company’s Alexandria premises in inner Sydney between November 2013 and November 2015.

This allegedly led to underpayments of base rates of pay, casual loading, afternoon and night shift allowances, public holiday penalty rates and overtime rates owed under the Graphic Arts, Printing and Publishing Award.

Under the Award workers were entitled to combined base rates and casual loading of between $20.63 and $21.69 per hour, and penalty rates of up to $54 per hour. 

Sandra Parker, Fair Work Ombudsman says Compliance Notices are an important enforcement tool for the regulator, and that “Under the Fair Work Act, business operators must not fail to comply with Compliance Notices without a reasonable excuse, unless they make a Court application for a review if they seek to challenge a Notice.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman enforces Compliance Notices to assist employees and protect the integrity of the workplace relations system.

“We will continue to prioritise any requests for assistance from migrant workers, who can be particularly vulnerable due to language or cultural barriers, or visa status.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman seeks orders for the company and Lam to be liable to pay the $229,564, plus interest. In addition, the company faces a penalty of up to $31,500 and Mr Lam of up to $6,300.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney on June 17.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has an agreement with the Department of Home Affairs where visa holders can ask for our help without fear of their visa being cancelled.

Australian Printer contacted Mega Tabs Services, but did not get a response prior to publishing.

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