Repairer fined for underpayment


A former Keysborough-based auto repair franchisee has been fined $22,000 for failing to comply with an order to back-pay an employee.

C & G Smith Enterprises Pty Ltd, which used to operate the Rapid Tune outlet in Keysborough, was ordered to rectify the underpayments – on top of the fine – by the Federal Circuit and Family Court.

The outlet’s new operator is not facing any allegations.

In April 2021, the Fair Work Ombudsman had issued a compliance notice to C & G Smith due to underpaying a worker’s minimum wages and annual leave entitlements.

Judge Jonathan Forbes found the company took a “head in the sand response” to the compliance notice.

There was a need to impose a further penalty to deter C & G Smith and other employers from similar conduct.

“Doing nothing is not an option and inaction should be regarded as serious. All employers who are subject to the Fair Work Act should understand this,” Judge Forbes said.

The FWO is also prosecuting C & G Smith for underpaying a full-time junior apprentice at the Keysborough outlet. The matter is still before the courts.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the FWO had “no tolerance for deliberate non-compliance as occurred in this case”.

“When compliance notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”