Australian Car Rental Company Director Fined for Underpaying Workers

The director of a former Brisbane car rental company has been fined $110,000 in the Brisbane Federal Magistrates Court for underpaying seven workers, following a prosecution by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

According to the Northgate Chronicle, Nathan Conn was the manager and sole director of Enterprise Car Rental Group Pty Ltd., before the company went into liquidation. The company also traded as Abel Car Rental at a number of locations throughout Brisbane.

Federal Magistrate Michael Burnett imposed the fine after finding Conn was involved in Enterprise Car Rental Group committing 28 breaches of workplace laws by underpaying seven employees a total of $61,423 between February 2006 and April 2008. Burnett ordered part of the fine to be paid to the underpaid workers.

Employees were underpaid their minimum hourly rate, annual leave entitlements, superannuation, meal break pay, termination pay and overtime for weekend and public holiday work.

Conn was also involved in failure to pay compensation to one employee after the workplace agreement he was employed under failed a fairness test.

"We will not hesitate to take court action to protect workers' rights," according to Michael Campbell, executive director of the Fair Work Ombudsman. "Successful prosecutions such as this also benefit employers who are complying with workplace laws because it helps them to compete on a level playing field."

The FWO could not prosecute Enterprise Car Rental Group because the company is in liquidation. The agency's prosecutions against former Enterprise Car Rental Group senior managers Tony Hinai and George Halliday were discontinued following mediation.

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