Logistics 1 caught short-changing its workforce...again


Repeat offender must now meet strict conditions to ensure workers are paid correctly.

 

Australia’s workplace rights enforcer has slapped conditions on a transport company after it was caught again failing to pay its workforce correct entitlements.

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) says it has taken a dim view of further breaches at Logistics 1, which runs a linehaul operation out of Dandenong in Victoria.

The agency imposed an enforceable undertaking order on the company in light of the latest contraventions, requiring Logistics 1 to rectify the underpayments, apologise for its actions and implement processes and training procedures to prevent further breaches from occurring.

Logistics 1 received a warning from the FWO last year after 41 staff were underpaid almost $25,000. Despite receiving education about its workplace responsibilities, another employee was underpaid more than $2,300 this year.

"Unfortunately the company failed to learn from its earlier mistakes," ombudsman Natalie James says.

Introduced in 2009, enforceable undertakings are used against companies that breach workplace laws without the need for court action

"We use enforceable undertakings where we have formed a view that a breach of the law has occurred, but where the employer has acknowledged this and accepted responsibility and agreed to co-operate and fix the problem," James says.

As part of the undertaking, Logistics 1 must commission workplace relations training for its managers and engage an external professional to review its pay practices over a two-year period.

It will also report back to the FWO on the systems and processes it implements to ensure future workplace compliance.

Logistics 1 admitted to not paying prescribed rates for public holidays and time worked.

It must now audit its operations and provide evidence to the FWO of the findings.

Logistics 1 is the latest case of underpayments the FWO has uncovered in the trucking industry.

Earlier this month, a Western Australian trucking company admitted to underpaying its driver $20,000. He was not paid for loading or unloading his truck, nor did he receive the correct cents-per-kilometre rate or living away from allowance.

The company, which paid the money owed, says it decided to underpay its driver to remain competitive. 

In April, the FWO uncovered massive underpayments at regional Victorian company Merri Transport.

In underpayments totalling more than $260,000, Merri Transport committed breaches relating to severance pay, cents-per-kilometre rates, allowances for loading, and public holiday payments.

One driver was owed $60,940, while another was underpaid almost $50,000.

Merri Transport agreed to back-pay the drivers and enter into an enforceable undertaking, similar to what has been imposed on Logistics 1.

In March, an FWO inspection campaign revealed a New South Wales truck driver was ripped off to the tune of $6,000. He did not receive redundancy pay, annual leave entitlements and travel allowances.

The part-owner of now defunct trucking firm Doble Express Transport was fined in June last year for underpaying his workers almost $240,000.

Graeme John Doble received a small fine of $13,200 for the breaches, and tere is no guarantee the former employees of Doble Express Transport will receive the money owed to them.

One employee who has passed away, Colin McIntosh, was owed $93,000.

 

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