NSW Service station faces court

Fuel pump nozzles close up in a service station

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has begun legal action against Westside Petroleum Retail 1 Pty Ltd.

The major service station is reportedly under investigation for underpaying 22 employees up to $62,393 at sites in both NSW and VIC.

Westside Petrolum Retail and three of its management staff-  general manager Patrick Riad, company accountant Francesco Ieraci and area manager Shahzaib Khawaja- were called to face the Federal Circuit Court.

The FWO alleges that employees were underpaid at 12 petrol stations – Adaminaby, Wagga Wagga, Finley, Gurley, Lismore (Victoria), Somerton, Temora, Tolland, Blayney, Glen Innes, Peak Hill and Cooma– for periods between July 2015 and May 2016.

It is alleged that workers were underpaid from $347 to $7,772.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said inspectors audited Westside Petroleum following requests for assistance from Westside employees.

“The Fair Work Ombudsman has no tolerance for the underpayment of any workers. We encourage any workers with concerns about their pay to contact us for free advice,” Ms Parker said.

“It is unlawful for employers to pay their employees low, flat rates that undercut minimum Award wage rates, and those who rely on an unlawful ‘going rate’ can be left with a major back-payment bill and face significant penalties,” Ms Parker said.

The company faces penalties of up to $54,000 per contravention and each of Mr Riad, Mr Ieraci and Mr Khawaja faces penalties of up to $10,800 per contravention.

The FWO said all workers have now been back-paid in full.

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