Darwin company penalised heavily for exploitation

A Darwin computer company was this week ordered to pay a penalty of $430,000 to the Commonwealth Government for breaches of sponsorship obligations regarding three 457 visa holders.

The company, Hallmark Computer Pty Ltd was also ordered to pay more than $83,000 in restitution to the workers and the company’s sole director and shareholder Ashok Alexander was ordered to pay a personal penalty of $86,000.

The Federal Court found the company and its owner had committed numerous breaches of sponsorship obligations in respect to the visa holders.

The breaches involved underpayment of the sponsored employees, illegal recovery of costs from the employees by requiring them to repay some of their monthly salary and one employee being directed to work in a different occupation than the sponsored occupation.

The court action followed an investigation by the Department of Immigration and Border protection into the company.