Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94
29 Oct 2010
Former Newcastle call centre owner fined over
underpayment of 62 workers
The sole owner-manager of a former Newcastle call centre has been fined
$5940 over the underpayment of 62 telemarketers.
The Federal Magistrates Court in Sydney ordered the penalty against
Newcastle man Andre Praglowski following a prosecution by the Fair Work
Praglowski ran an outbound call centre on Hunter Street, Newcastle,
through his company Country Hospitality Pty Ltd.
Federal Magistrate Rolf Driver imposed the fine after 62 casual
telemarketers were underpaid a total of $38,895 between 2006 and 2009.
The underpayments have not been rectified.
The telemarketers, who were employed to sell holiday packages, were
paid as little as $10 an hour when they were entitled to receive between
$15.30 and $17.17 an hour at the time.
Fair Work inspectors discovered the underpayments when they
investigated complaints from the workers last year.
Federal Magistrate Driver said: Penalties in this case should be imposed
on a meaningful level so as to deter other employers from committing
Praglowski placed Country Hospitality into voluntary liquidation in June
this year, preventing the Fair Work Ombudsman from continuing its
prosecution against the company.
However, Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Mike Campbell says
the penalty against Praglowski sends a message that company directors
will be held accountable for their actions in the event that they wind up
The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools on its website to assist
employees and employers to check minimum rates of pay.
Employers or employees seeking assistance should visit
www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. For
translations call 13 14 50.
Media inquiries: Ryan Pedler, 0411 430 902. firstname.lastname@example.org