The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against Vicpro Security Pty Ltd - which operates Allied Security Australia at Altona North, Melbourne - and the company’s director Damian Black.
Allied Security works with a number of retail businesses on loss prevention, boutique security, surveillance and mobile response.
The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) alleges Vicpro Security, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required it to calculate and back-pay at least 112 workers’ entitlements.
It is alleged that the company’s director Black was involved in the contravention.
According to the FWO, it investigated Vicpro Security as part of surprise audits of security businesses in Melbourne and Sydney in 2022.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to the company in January 2023 after forming a belief that a total of at least 112 workers, some of whom were visa holders, had been underpaid.
The inspector formed a belief that between various periods of work from May 2020 to January 2022, the workers were not paid overtime entitlements owed under the Security Services Industry Award 2010 and Security Services Industry Award 2020.
The workers were engaged in full-time and part-time roles as security guards and control room operators and supervisors.
Fair Work Ombudsman Anna Booth said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.
“Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers,” Ms Booth said.
“Employers also need to be aware that taking action to protect workers such as visa holders who can often be more vulnerable is a priority for the Fair Work Ombudsman. Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance.”
The FWO is seeking penalties in court. For the alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notice, Vicpro Security Pty Ltd faces a penalty of up to $41,250 and Mr Black faces a penalty of up to $8,250.
The regulator is also seeking orders for the company to rectify the alleged underpayment in full, plus interest.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Melbourne on 25 January 2024