Record Penalty Awarded Against Tech Company For Failing To Pay Unfair Dismissal Compensation

Friday 7 September 2018 @ 10.53 a.m. | Industrial Law | Legal Research

The Fair Work Ombudsman (the “Ombudsman”) has revealed in a Media Release that they have obtained record penalties from the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (the “Court”) against Macquarie Technology Group International Pty Ltd (“MTGI”) as well as the company’s owner, Paul Wallace, for failing to pay an earlier penalty to an employee who was unfairly dismissed in 2014.

Mr Wallace was penalised $20,600 while his company has been penalised a further $105,000.


MTGI had been initially ordered to pay over $20,000 to an engineer who was unfairly dismissed in 2014, with further orders following to pay the employee costs of $8,470. After making several requests for Wallace and MTGI to pay the compensation and costs to the employee, the Ombudsman then took legal action against them for contraventions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the “Act”) by failing to comply with the Commission’s orders.

Comment from FWO

Fair Work Ombudsman, Ms Sandra Parker said that $125,600 in total penalties is a record against an employer for failing to comply with an order to pay unfair dismissal compensation.

Commenting in a recent Media Release, Ms Parker said:

“The penalties obtained by the Fair Work Ombudsman send a strong message to businesses that there are serious consequences for failing to comply with Fair Work Commission Orders. It is fundamental for the integrity of the workplace relations system that orders are complied with and we will take legal action to ensure employees receive compensation.”

Imposition of Further Penalties

In addition to imposing penalties for contravening the Act, the Court has ordered MTGI to pay the $29,239 in outstanding compensation and costs to the employee, plus interest of $5,646. The court then dismissed appeals by MTGI against the same orders in December 2016.

An order (by the court) stipulating that if MTGI fails to pay the employee compensation and costs owed, the penalties imposed against Wallace be directed to the employee to partially rectify the amounts owed.

Previous Action against the Company

The current action is the second time the Ombudsman has secured penalties against Wallace and MGTI, with the industry watchdog securing penalties totalling $6,380 against Wallace and the company in court during 2011 for underpaying an employee almost $6,000. The underpayment was rectified only after legal action was initiated.

TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.


Related Articles: