Butcher handed $62,000 fine

BUNDABERG Market Meats and its director have been fined $62,000 for showing a “complete disregard” for workplace laws and underpaying a teenage apprentice.

The company was fined $52,000 and company director Christopher James Poskitt a further $10,000 in the Federal Magistrates Court in Brisbane.

The company and Poskitt each admitted to four breaches of workplace laws by underpaying an 18-year-old apprentice $4426.

The company - the subject of strike-off action by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission - has also been ordered to back-pay the apprentice.

Federal Magistrate Michael Jarrett said the youth and vulnerability of the apprentice, who had recently left school, were significant matters in the case.

Federal Magistrate Jarrett said the company and Poskitt had “acted with complete disregard” to workplace laws and shown a “notable indifference” to the apprentice's rights.

The apprentice was underpaid the minimum hourly rate and superannuation when he worked for Bundaberg Market Meats from August 2006 to October 2007 at its two Maryborough Street stores - Bundaberg Market Meats at Bundaberg Plaza and Hinkler Fine Meats at Hinkler Central.

When Hinkler Fine Meats closed in October 2007, the apprentice's employment was terminated and the company refused to pay-out his accrued annual leave.

For assistance telephone Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fwo.gov.au for more information.

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