A mobile phone repair company in Adelaide has been fined $5000 after failing to pay a smaller on-the-spot fine for payslip breaches.
Mobizone, which claims to be Adelaide’s leading phone repairer on its website, was originally fined $550 by the Fair Work Ombudsman for a breach of workplace law last year.
The Industrial Relations Court fined the business $3500, while Mobizone’s business manager and part owner Raymond Kebbe was fined an additional $1500.
According to the Ombudsman, the breach was revealed after Fair Work inspectors audited the workplace last year and found a member of staff on a 457 visa was only being issued payslips when he asked for them.
Workplace law dictates that employees must be provided payslips within one working day of their wages.
While the Ombudsman made “numerous requests” for Mobizone to pay back the on-the-spot fine for the breach, it refused, Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said in a statement.
“Instead of having a $550 fine to pay, the financial penalty is now significantly greater and comes with publicity and potential risk to the business’s reputation over its conduct,” she said.
“We place a high importance on enforcing compliance with payslip obligations, because when employees don’t receive them, it undermines their ability to understand how their wages have been calculated and to check they’ve received their minimum lawful entitlements.”
Ben Tallboys, senior associate at Russell Kennedy Lawyers, told SmartCompany this morning the higher penalty on the employer could have been easily avoided.
“The simple fact of the matter is employers have to provide a payslip within one day of paying an employee,” he says.
Tallboys says this is important for two reasons; one being the employer was required by law to do so but also because it was important for the employee to have all that information at hand.
“A detailed payslip should show how much an employee is being paid, how it’s being calculated and what their leave entitlements are,” he says.
“It’s important that employees get that immediately so if there is an issue it can be dealt with immediately.”
He says in this case, the business appeared to have been “haphazard with payslips” and did itself no favours by “flat out” ignoring the Ombudsman’s on-the-spot fine.
“You can’t just put your head in sand when the ombudsman shows up on your doorstep,” Tallboys says.
“That is what the employer did on this occasion and now they, and the business manager responsible for the payslips, have got penalised.
“It all could have been avoided if payslips were issued at the time employees were paid.”
Tallboys says the simple lesson for other small business is to provide detailed payslips to employees.
“Employers need to know requirements and what they need to include in the content of payslip and if they don’t know they should seek advice,” he says.
“If an employee or ombudsman challenges the content or provision of a payslip, you’ve got to deal with it immediately.
“It doesn’t make sense for any business to ignore a fine from the ombudsman.”
SmartCompany contacted Mobizone for comment but did not receive a response prior to publication.