Two North Melbourne-based IT companies, Konsulteq and Konsulteq Upskilling and Training Services, are to due to face court over alleged sham contracting and underpaying foreign workers.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is prosecuting the operator of the companies, Pradeep Gaur, for alleged breaches of workplace laws relating to sham contracting, unlawful termination, falsifying records and underpaying two foreign Indian workers more than $17,000 in 2010 and 2011.
After auditing the company's, Fair Work inspectors told Gaur employees had been misclassified as independent contractors and underpaid.
It’s alleged that after the audit, Gaur breached sham contracting laws by maintaining the two employees were contractors.
It is also alleged one of the employees was underpaid her minimum wages and the other employee was not paid any wages during a training program.
Gaur also allegedly provided a false document to the Ombudsman, showing that one of the employees had been back-paid outstanding entitlements, when no payment was made and he breached the adverse action provisions of workplace laws by terminating one of the employees after she continued to complain about her pay.
The ombudsman also alleges breaches relating to keeping employment records and issuing pay slips.
Acting Fair Work Ombudsman, Bill Loizides, said the decision to prosecute was taken because of the seriousness of the alleged breaches.
The Ombudsman will also seek court orders for the two employees to be repaid entitlements of $717 and $16,571 respectively, and further compensation for the terminated employee.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Magistrates Court in Melbourne on February 11.
Maximum penalties for each breach range up to $6600 for individuals and $33,000 for corporations.