October 12, 2020

A Maclagan dairy farmer has been taken to court by the Fair Work Ombudsman after allegations he failed to pay a casual backpacker correctly.

The Fair Work Ombudsman began legal action against the farmer recently in the Federal Circuit Court.

The regulator began investigations after receiving a request for assistance from a worker, a working holiday visa-holder from France, who had been employed on a casual basis to do general farm work, house cleaning and to milk and feed cows.

An inspector issued a Compliance Notice to the farmer in February after forming a belief he had failed to pay the employee correctly for work he had performed between August and November, 2019.

The inspector believed the employee had been underpaid casual minimum rates and was not paid penalty rates for public holiday work in accordance with the Pastoral Award 2010.

The FWO alleges the farmer failed to comply with this Compliance Notice which required him to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements.

It also alleges that farmer breached workplace laws by failing to issue pay slips to the employee and failing to keep records of the employee’s hours of work.

The FWO says it made several attempts to secure voluntary compliance before beginning legal action.

A directions hearing has been listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane on November 13.

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