Local security guards allegedly underpaid nearly $94,000

A COFFS Harbour security contractor will face court for allegedly underpaying employees almost $94,000.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has began legal action against Northcoast Security Services Group Pty Ltd.

Woolgoolga resident Kuldeep Chouhan, a former director and part-owner of the company, will also face the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney.

Northcoast Security Services allegedly underpaid the guards a total of $93,779 for work performed in 2012 and 2013 in and around Coffs Harbour.

The alleged underpayments are largely the result of staff receiving rates as low as $18 an hour - below the $40 an hour rate they were entitled to for weekend, public holiday, night and overtime work under the Security Services Award.

The company also allegedly breached record-keeping laws, underpaid broken shift allowances and made unlawful deductions from employee wages.

Two guards were allegedly underpaid $29,650 and $23,731 respectively.

Other alleged underpayments range from $294 to $8420.

The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated after the guards contacted the agency for help.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said legal action was initiated after a lack of co-operation from Mr Chouhan and the company.

Mr Chouhan faces maximum penalties of up to $10,200 per contravention and Northcoast Security Services faces penalties of up to $51,000 per contravention.

A hearing date is yet to be finalised.

Mr Chouhan and Northcoast Security Services Group were contacted by the Coffs Coast Advocate, but did not respond to interview requests.



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