Accountant and his client both sued under Employment law

An accountant acted for an Employer that failed to document an Employment Contract. The Fair Work Ombudsman is suing both Ezy Accounting and its client. Usually only company directors and HR professionals are attacked by the Ombudsman. After all, HR professionals are trained in this area and are responsible for workplace compliance.


I have never heard of the Ombudsman suing an accountant for employment law breaches by their client. Do you agree? Have a read of the Fair Work Ombudsman Media Release: without an Employment Contract the accountant ‘processed wage payments … well below the lawful minimum’. The Ombudsman claims Ezy Accounting was aware of the correct minimum rates.

In light of this attack, without the benefit of an Employment Contract, there is now liability if the accountant: aided the contravention or conspired with the client.

Madam Ombudsman, in my view, has overstepped her position. She has made it difficult for accountants to impartially act for their Employer clients. It is a misuse of her power. Do you agree? To make it worse, her statement

‘in situations where we believe accountants or other professionals knowingly facilitate contraventions of workplace laws, we are prepared to hold them to account’

sounds politically motivated. It is a direct attack on the Accounting profession.

Without charge, Legal Consolidated is happy to give free legal advice to any accountant who is under attack from the Fair Work Ombudsman.

I suggest that you do not act for an Employer, until the Employer has in place law firm prepared Employer contracts.

4 Comments

  1. Ed says:

    Dear Brett.

    While I don’t know the full details around this case, it seems that the accounting firm is not completely faultless since it was involved in an audit just a couple of years ago. The Fairwork commentary says “Blue Impression was previously audited in 2014 as part of the Fair Work Ombudsman’s proactive National Hospitality Campaign. It has previously been put on notice of its workplace obligations after it was found to have underpaid 12 employees a total of $8800. EZY Accounting 123 was also apprised of minimum Award rates at the time of the audit, as it assisted the company to calculate and rectify the wage underpayments.”

    If the accounting firm then continued to assist and advise their clients and, it appears regardless of the earlier breaches, continued to underpay the workers, the accountant has some explaining to do.

  2. jontan says:

    absurd why employ an accountant who can not see the wood from the trees.

  3. jontan says:

    Thanks you for showing us how absurd the law is, What an interpretation?

  4. Bernard Gerbes says:

    I think the employer only should be in the sights of the ombudsman. If the employer relies on outside professional advice, it has legal recourse tor ant negligence – but that is and should remain a separate issue. I agree with Brett; she overstepped her mark well and truly!

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