Fair Work Act: Accessorial Liability – Litigation, Employment, Industrial, Commercial, Intellectual Property and Technology Lawyers
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-15626,single-format-standard,bridge-core-1.0.7,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-theme-ver-18.2.1,qode-theme-bridge,disabled_footer_bottom,qode_header_in_grid,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.0.5,vc_responsive

Fair Work Act: Accessorial Liability

Fair Work Act: Accessorial Liability

A common problem encountered by employees who have not been paid their minimum legal entitlements is discovering that the company which employed them has been left with no money. It is not uncommon for the person/s controlling the company to resurface shortly afterwards and recommence operating through a new company.

A Judgment from the Federal Circuit Court in Fair Work Ombudsman v Step Ahead Security Services Pty Ltd & Anor [2016] FCCA 1482 has highlighted the existence of another tool for those seeking to help employees recover money in these circumstances.

In Step Ahead, Judge Jarrett ordered that the employing company and its sole director be jointly and severally liable to compensate affected employees for underpayments. This allows the employees to recover the money owed from either the company or the director – hence the personal assets of the director can be accessed if the company has no money. Judge Jarrett found section 545(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FWAct) permits this type of order where an individual is involved in the contravention as defined in section 550.

Following this Judgment, it is worth giving serious consideration to seeking orders that a director, company secretary or other persons who were actively involved in the contravention be held jointly and severally liable in an underpayment case particularly if there are concerns that the employing entity will have insufficient funds to satisfy the orders.

Other recent examples of the Federal Circuit Court applying the accessorial liability provision in section 550 of the FWAct include:



The article, the content and references made are intended to keep an audience updated with information. It is not intended that the article or part of it should be relied upon as advice. Information provided may not apply to in all circumstances or in particular situations. If you do want particular advice or you have any questions, we welcome you to contact us on (02) 9004 7404 or at general@cdclaw.com.au