Driver owed 10 years' holiday pay, watchdog claims

Queensland company director faces court action after his company allegedly refused to pay a truck driver more than $25,000 in annual leave entitlements

A Queensland company director is facing court action after his company allegedly refused to pay a truck driver more than $25,000 in annual leave entitlements accrued over more than a decade.

The Federal Workplace Ombudsman has launched legal action in Brisbane’s Federal Magistrates Court against Douglas Desmond Cameron, of Canungra in the Gold Coast hinterland.

The Workplace Ombudsman claims Cameron’s former company - Tamborine Transport - employed the truck driver full-time for 11 years but paid him for only five weeks’ annual leave during that time.

It is further alleging that the company also refused to pay accrued annual leave entitlements totalling $25,805 when the driver resigned in 2007.

The Court will hear Cameron allegedly committed three breaches of Commonwealth workplace laws through his central involvement in Tamborine Transport failing to pay the driver’s annual leave entitlements, as well as underpaying him a total of $3,337 in overtime and allowances in 2006/07.

The Workplace Ombudsman discovered the alleged underpayments when it investigated a complaint made by the truck driver in 2007.

Workplace inspectors pursued Cameron several times to request that Tamborine Transport back-pay the money owed, before issuing a final notice to pay.

Cameron voluntarily deregistered Tamborine Transport in August, 2008.

Workplace Ombudsman Queensland Director Julie Wade says employers who underpay their workers cannot avoid being held accountable for their actions by closing down their business.

"In cases such as this where we believe a company director was directly involved in the underpayment of a worker, we will not hesitate to pursue the individual in court," she says.

Cameron faces a penalty of up to $6,600 per breach. The case is listed for a directions hearing on April 30.

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