The penalty in the Federal Circuit Court on Monday, as a result of action by the Fair Work Ombudsman, comes in the wake of a penalty of $12,600 imposed on Lycamobile just last week after it failed to follow an ACMA direction to comply with the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code.
The $25,000 penalty was secured by the Fair Work Ombudsman after Lycamobile admitted underpaying an administrative employee at its NSW office in Parramatta a total of $5264 in overtime entitlements.
Between 2012 and 2015, the employee was routinely required to work more than 38 hours per week and worked on Saturdays. However, she was not paid the full overtime entitlements under the Telecommunication Services Award 2010.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from the employee.
“Under Australia’s workplace laws, employers are legally obliged to pay employees their full minimum entitlements. The Fair Work Ombudsman is prepared to take enforcement action if a business disregards that obligation,” Parker warned.
“It is unacceptable for an employer to continue to underpay employee entitlements after being formally sanctioned by the Court. This penalty sends a clear message that repeat breaches of workplace laws will be met with a serious response.”
Judge Sylvia Emmett found that the underpayment was the result of Lycamobile’s “recklessness, rather than mere accident” and that it was “egregious” that the company had failed to take steps to ensure compliance after being penalised in 2013.
“I accept that a meaningful penalty is one that sends a message to employers and the public at large that repeat offending is serious and should be treated as such by the Court,” Judge Emmett said.
The worker received full backpay before the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal action in 2017.