Prosecution for breaches of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Fair Work Act) is on the rise, and not just against companies but against directors personally.

Over the Festive Season / New Year period the Federal Circuit Court handed down nearly $600,000 in penalties in eight separate cases brought by the Fair Work Ombudsman. The recent cases all related to underpayment of wages in some form, including wages for foreign nationals working on visas as well as payments to unpaid interns who were in fact deemed to be employees. In each of the cases both the companies and some company directors were fined, and the penalties were exacerbated in cases where directors had failed to comply with notices from the Fair Work Ombudsman.