Former Newcastle Call Centre Owner Fined Over Underpayments

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29th October 2010, 03:00pm - Views: 1960

Misc Miscellaneous Fair Work Ombudsman 1 image

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Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 

Media Release

    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

similar contraventions.” 

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

their business.

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 or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. For

translations call 13 14 50.

Media inquiries: Ryan Pedler, 0411 430 902.

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