Ballarat Employer Fined More Than $100k For Underpaying Apprentice

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14th October 2009, 10:30am - Views: 1019

People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 1 image

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Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 

Media Release

   14 Oct 2009

Ballarat employer fined more than $105,000 for

underpaying apprentice


Ballarat roofing company and its director have been fined more than $105,000

for underpaying a young apprentice roof tiler.

The penalty follows a prosecution by the Fair Work Ombudsman in the Melbourne

Magistrates’ Court.

S & J Roofing Pty Ltd has been fined $92,400 and the company’s sole owner and

director Stephen Walters, of Ballarat, a further $13,200. 

Magistrate Franz Holzer also ordered the company to back-pay the apprentice

more than $15,000 in outstanding wages.

S & J Roofing underpaid the apprentice when it employed him from November,

2005 to July, 2008. He was aged 22 to 25 at the time.

The company underpaid the apprentice’s minimum hourly rate, industry

allowances and annual leave entitlements and failed to make any contributions to

his superannuation fund.

After the apprentice lodged a complaint, Fair Work inspectors repeatedly asked

Walters to back-pay the apprentice but he failed to do so.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the case is

particularly serious because it involves a significant underpayment of a low-paid,

young worker.

“The fine imposed in this case sends a strong message that companies and

individual directors cannot get away with ripping-off young workers,” Mr Campbell


“We treat cases of young workers’ rights very seriously and will not hesitate to

pursue any employers who we find exploiting this vulnerable group.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman promotes harmonious, productive and co-operative

workplaces. It also monitors compliance and investigates breaches of national

workplace laws.

Employers or employees seeking assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline

on 13 13 94 or visit For translations call 13 14 50.

Media inquiries:

Craig Bildstien, 0419 818 484.

Ryan Pedler, (03) 9954 2561, 0434 365 924.

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