The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the former operators of a Queensland transport and logistics business.
Facing court is Jatinder Singh Bassi, a sole trader who operated ‘Bassi Group Transport’, which provided waste collection and disposal services in and around the Brisbane and Logan areas.
Also facing court is Mr Bassi’s wife Satty Bassi, who was involved in operating and managing the business.
The regulator began an investigation after receiving a request for assistance from a truck driver who was employed by Mr Bassi on a part-time basis between June 2019 and February 2020.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Mr Bassi in December 2021 after forming a belief the worker was underpaid entitlements owed under the Waste Management Award 2010 and the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.
The inspector formed a belief that the worker was not paid shift-work overtime rates, public holiday base rates, annual leave entitlements, payment in lieu of notice of termination, afternoon and night-shift penalty rates, and penalty rates for weekend and public holiday work.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Mr Bassi, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required him to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements. It is alleged Mrs Bassi was involved in the contravention.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.
“Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”
“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance,” Ms Parker said.
The FWO is seeking penalties in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Brisbane against Mr Bassi and Mrs Bassi for allegedly failing to comply with the Compliance Notice. They each face a penalty of up to $6,660.
The regulator is also seeking an order for Mr Bassi to rectify the alleged underpayments in full, plus interest.