Former Rapid Tune franchisee fined, again

Former Rapid Tune franchisee fined
The court penalised the ex-franchisee after the FWO took legal action. (Source: Bigstock)

A former Rapid Tune franchisee has been fined $19,980 for a workplace breach.

This is the second time the Fair Work Ombudsman has successfully secured Court penalties against the ex-operator.

Last year the operator was penalised $22,200 for failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring it to back-pay a motor mechanic it had employed.

The repeat offender is C & G Smith Enterprises Pty Ltd, which previously operated a Rapid Tune franchise outlet in Keysborough.

The FWO took the business to court for failing to comply with a Compliance Notice to calculate and back-pay entitlements to a young apprentice mechanic.

The company had underpaid the worker’s minimum wages and overtime rates under the Vehicle Repair, Services and Retail Award 2020. It has also failed to correctly pay his annual leave entitlements under the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.

Judge Jonathan Forbes found that C & G Smith Enterprises had shown a “blatant disregard for workplace laws”. He said the FWO had “every reason to be totally exasperated at the respondent’s failure to engage and its belligerent ‘head in the sand’ response to the statutory compliance scheme”.

“The evidence does not disclose a hint of contrition, corrective action or cooperation. There was no acknowledgement of the Compliance Notice, let alone compliance with it. The respondent did not cooperate with the investigation, nor has it engaged in these proceedings despite being given every opportunity to do so,” Judge Forbes said.

“An important message must be conveyed to employers that a failure to comply with legal obligations will result in the issue of Compliance Notices which, if ignored, will be litigated by the Ombudsman,” he said.