Give and take — ski workers; nursery workers


Give and take — ski workers; nursery workers

Ski industry workers get free skis/snowboards under new agreement; Nursery in court for underpaying workers $40,000


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Ski industry workers get free skis/snowboards under new agreement; Nursery in court for underpaying workers $40,000.
Ski industry workers get free skis/snowboards under new agreement
Maintenance workers from Buller Ski Lifts in Victoria will receive free skiing/snowboarding equipment as a part of their new enterprise agreement approved by Fair Work Australia.
The workers maintain the 24 ski lifts that operate at Mount Buller during the winter ski season.
Their latest three-year agreement provides for a 12.2% wage increase as well as free skis and snowboards.
State organiser Damian King said the new agreement stipulates that each year the company will provide members with either a set of skis or a snowboard as nominated by each employee.
‘It also stipulates the company will supply the members with a set of ski poles, snow goggles and sunglasses,’ he said.
‘This equipment is important in enabling the members to maintain the ski lifts and associated gear during the winter snow season.’
King said it can cost workers a fortune to purchase snow equipment for work, thousands of dollars each year sometimes.
Nursery in court for underpaying workers $40,000
A nursery is being prosecuted by the Fair Work Ombudsman for allegedly underpaying 19 of its employees — 11 of them teenagers — almost $40,000.
Facing court is Futures Green Pty Ltd, which has operated a nursery at Leycester, near Lismore. Also being prosecuted is the company’s chief executive, Garry Richard Payne.
Documents lodged in the Federal Magistrates Court in Sydney allege Payne was centrally involved in the workers being underpaid a total of $38,867 between April, 2006 and March, 2009.
Flat rates
The employees were allegedly paid flat hourly rates below their lawful entitlement, resulting in underpayment of their minimum hourly rate, overtime pay and annual leave entitlements.
The Fair Work Ombudsman says Futures Green has reimbursed some money, but $30,917 in back-payments remains outstanding. The largest amount allegedly still owed to an individual employee is $3385.
Court documents also claim that Futures Green further breached workplace law by failing to keep proper employment records.
Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell said the decision to prosecute was made because of the significant amount involved and the employer’s failure to fully rectify the underpayments.
It is alleged Futures Green and Payne committed four underpayment-related breaches of workplace laws. They face maximum potential penalties of $33,000 and $6600 per breach respectively.
Futures Green is also facing maximum penalties of $1650 per breach for six alleged record-keeping breaches.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is seeking a Court Order for Futures Green to back pay employees the entitlements allegedly still owing. The case is listed for a directions hearing on 4 February.
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