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​Fair Work Ombudsman hits Brisbane tech firm with AU$125k fine for unfair dismissal

Macquarie Technology Group International has been ordered to pay up after failing to comply with an order to compensate an employee who had been unfairly dismissed.

Macquarie Technology Group International and its owner have been slapped with a six-figure fine by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) for reportedly failing to comply with an order to compensate an employee who had been unfairly dismissed.

The Brisbane-based company, despite sharing part of its name with financial giant Macquarie Group, engineers, distributes, installs, and services wireless technology for radio communication.

The owner of Macquarie Technology Group Paul Desmond Wallace has been penalised AU$20,600 in the Federal Circuit Court, and his company has been penalised a further AU$105,000.

According to a statement from the FWO, in 2014 it ordered the company to pay AU$20,769 compensation to an engineer based in the Nowra region after the Fair Work Commission (FWC) found the employee had been unfairly dismissed. The FWC also ordered Wallace and his company to pay the employee further costs of AU$8,470.

The FWC said that after making several requests for Wallace and his company to pay the compensation and costs to the worker, the Ombudsman commenced legal action for contravening the Fair Work Act by failing to comply with the commission's orders.

"The penalties obtained by the Fair Work Ombudsman send a strong message to businesses that there are serious consequences for failing to comply with Fair Work Commission Orders," Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said, noting the penalty is a record against an employer for failing to comply with an order to pay unfair dismissal compensation.

"It is fundamental for the integrity of the workplace relations system that orders are complied with and we will take legal action to ensure employees receive compensation."

In addition to imposing penalties for contravening the Fair Work Act, the Federal Circuit Court also ordered Wallace's company to pay the AU$29,239 in outstanding compensation and costs to the employee, plus interest of AU$5,646.

The Federal Court of Australia also dismissed appeals by Macquarie Technology Group against the same orders in December 2016.

The Full Bench of the Commission had previously dismissed appeals by the company against the compensation and costs orders in 2015. The court has also ordered Macquarie Technology Group to pay the Fair Work Ombudsman AU$2,678 in legal costs.

It is the second time the Fair Work Ombudsman has secured penalties against Wallace and Macquarie Technology Group International, after it was ordered to pay AU$6,380 in 2011 for underpaying an employee almost AU$6,000.

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