Allegations against Pioneer companies dismissed

Legal action against Pioneer Facility Services and Pioneer Contracting Services dismissed following appeal.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s legal action against Pioneer Facility Services and Pioneer Contracting Services (Pioneer companies) has been dismissed following an appeal.

In 2016, the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal action against the PiAllegations against Pioneer companies and a subcontractor – Sung Gun Hwang and his company OzKorea Pty Ltd – in relation to alleged underpayments of Korean cleaners at four Woolworths sites at at Deloraine, Georgetown, Riverside and Mowbray in Tasmania.

Hwang, as a sole trader and later through OzKorea, underpaid four cleaners who worked early morning shifts between January 2014 and January 2015.

The workers were underpaid a combined $21,332 through low flat rates that failed to meet the rates for ordinary hours and weekend, overtime and public holiday hours they were entitled to under the Cleaning Services Award 2010.

Last year, the Federal Circuit Court found the Pioneer companies were accessories to underpayment contraventions by OzKorea and Hwang – and the court imposed penalties of $17,000 against Pioneer Facility Services, $17,000 against Pioneer Contracting Services, $20,400 against OzKorea and $5,000 against Hwang.

The Pioneer companies appealed against liability and penalty and that appeal has now been allowed by consent in the Federal Court.

As a result, all penalties and findings of breaches against Pioneer Facility Services and Pioneer Contracting Services have been set aside and the Fair Work Ombudsman’s case has been dismissed.

The findings and penalties against OzKorea and Mr Hwang are not affected by the appeal.

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