Freedom Fuels fined for underpaying employees

National service station hit with hefty fine for not paying more than 200 employees correctly

November 7, 2012

National service station operator Freedom Fuels has been fined $46,200 for underpaying more than 200 employees.

Freedom Fuels admitted to the Federal Magistrates Court in Brisbane it underpaid 234 employees a total of $191,197 between May 2006 and July 2009. The employees, including a number of juniors aged under 21, worked as casual and part-time console operators.

The Fair Work Ombudsman prosecuted the Brisbane-based operator, which runs service stations in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales. The employees were underpaid overtime rates and penalty rates for weekend, shift and public holiday work.

A total of 169 employees in Queensland, at locations including Brisbane, Toowoomba and Goondiwindi, were underpaid $112,615.

Fifty-six employees in Victoria, at locations including Melbourne, Sale, Traralgon, Churchill, Moe and Morwell, were underpaid $73,905, and nine employees in at Kingscliff and Moree in NSW were underpaid $4677.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says the court’s decision sends a message that underpaying low-paid, vulnerable workers is a serious matter.

Freedom Fuels Australia has directly back-paid the underpaid workers it has been able to locate and has paid to the Collector of Public Monies all entitlements owing to the underpaid workers it has not been able to locate.

Any former employee of Freedom Fuels who believes the Collector of Public Monies may be holding back-pay owed to them has been asked to contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

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