A South Australian software company has gone into liquidation and the Fair Work Ombudsman claims five employees have been left short-changed to the tune of $286,876.
The Ombudsman has launched a prosecution against James Robert Manning, the sole owner and director of Compliance & Competency Management, after the company went bust earlier this year.
The case is listed for hearing in the Federal Magistrates Court and the FWO alleges Manning was centrally involved in underpaying five employees a total of $286,876 in salaries, annual leave entitlements and superannuation between September, 2009 and April, 2010.
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The IT workers were allegedly not paid any wages for up to four months. They raised the non-payment of their wages with Manning numerous times.
Court documents allege one employee emailed Manning shortly before Christmas in 2010 saying that he really wanted “at least $2,000 so I can have some money for my family”.
The FWO alleges Manning did not reply and did not arrange payment.
The FWO is alleging that Manning had more than 20 years’ experience in business and has been a director of 27 different companies – and so had an awareness of his obligations under workplace laws.
Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Mark Scully said a decision to prosecute was made because of the significant amount involved and the employer’s failure to rectify the matter.
Manning faces maximum penalties of $6,600 per breach if he is found guilty of the several breaches of workplace laws alleged by the Ombudsman.
The FWO is also seeking a court order that any fine imposed on Manning go towards rectifying the alleged underpayments of the workers.
The case is listed for hearing in the Federal Magistrates Court in Adelaide on December 12.
SmartCompany attempted to contact Manning through Compliance Competency & Management but the company’s number is now disconnected.