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Helicopter Company Penalised For Underpaying Pilots

Helicopter company penalised for underpaying pilots

A scenic and commercial helicopter company has been penalised more than $40,000 for underpaying two pilots.

Additionally, the company failed to provide pay slips.

The Federal Circuit Court penalised Broome Helicopter Services $33,550, and the company’s director and chief pilot Jospeh Calandra, $6,710.

Helicopter company penalised

The company underpaid the pilots $10,500 over a 6-month period in 2012, by failing to pay:

  • minimum hourly rates,
  • annual leave
  • and other entitlements outlined in the Air Pilots Award.

The company also failed to provide the pilots pay slips within one day of being paid.

Additionally, it produced misleading payslips understating hours worked.

Furthermore, the company failed to make annual leave records and provide a roster 7-days in advance as required.

The Fair Work Ombudsman commenced an investigation after the two pilots made formal complaints.

Judge Antoni Lucev said the underpayments were “in large part the fault of… Mr Calandra’s failure to properly implement and monitor proper payroll systems and records”.

After Judge Lucev’s earlier liability judgment, the helicopter company rectified the underpayments, plus interest.

No excuse for wage theft

Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from Fair Work Claims says there is no excuse for wage theft.

“We never stop hearing the same excuse from employers that modern awards are complex and hard to understand, well we say that’s bullshit,” he said.

“If someone can run a company as complex as a helicopter charter service and comply with all sorts of aviation safety regulations, then they should know how to pay their staff properly.

“And there is certainly no excuse for not providing pay slips or fudging records to disguise wage theft.”


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1300 324 748

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