Darwin Water Park Accused of Wage Theft

A former waterpark operator in Darwin is due to face court for alleged employee underpayments.

D-Town Events Pty Ltd, trading as Big Buoy Waterpark, and one of its directors, Jarrod Berrington are accused of underpaying an employee their minimum casual wages, Sunday and public holiday penalties, overtime and first aid allowance owed under the Amusement, Events and Recreation Award 2010 between May 2017 and June 2019.

A Fair Work inspector issued a Compliance Notice in December 2019 for the company to resolve the underpayments. However, the regulator stated that the company, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice.

While the business ceased operations earlier this year, the Fair Work Ombudsman is intent on pursuing the matter as part of its commitment to enforce workplace laws in a proportionate manner, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Under the Fair Work Act, Compliance Notices are important tools used by inspectors if they form a belief that an employer has breached workplace laws," Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said. "Where employers do not comply with FWO notices, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order the business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers."

D-Town Events is facing a maximum penalty of $31,500, while Berrington is facing a maximum penalty of $6300. The Fair Work Ombudsman will also pursue the company to comply with the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying the underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.

A directions hearing is set in the Federal Circuit Court in Darwin on 4 September 2020.

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