Consequences of Payment & Non-payment of Penalty

Payment of penalty

An infringement notice can be given as an alternative to commencing proceedings for a civil penalty order. The penalty in an infringement notice which a person is liable to pay, is one-tenth of the maximum penalty that a court could order in a civil penalty order.

An employer can pay the penalty specified in an infringement notice in order to avoid going to court. If the employer does not comply with an infringement notice, Centrelink or the FWO could bring proceedings for a civil penalty order. Once an employer has paid a penalty in accordance with an infringement notice Centrelink or the FWO cannot apply for a civil penalty for the same contravention and the employer is discharged from any liability in respect of the contravention in the infringement notice.

Non-payment of penalty

Where an employer does not comply with an infringement notice (or elects not to pay a pecuniary penalty), Centrelink or the FWO may decide to take further action.

If Centrelink or the FWO decides to pursue the matter, they must commence proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia for a civil penalty order in respect of the contravention, no later than 4 years after the contravention. If the court is satisfied that the person has contravened a civil penalty provision, the court may on the application of Centrelink or the FWO order the person to pay to the Commonwealth such amount as the court determines appropriate, up to the maximum penalty specified in PPLAct section 147.

Act reference: PPLAct section 161 What happens if the penalty is paid, section 147 Civil penalty orders

Last reviewed: 20 September 2016