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How are penalties determined and calculated?

In Mason v Harrington Corporation Pty Ltd [2007] FMCA 7, Federal Magistrate Mowbray listed factors that had been taken into consideration by the Federal Court in several different underpayment matters in determining a penalty. These included:

  • the nature and extent of the conduct
  • the nature and extent of any loss or damage
  • whether there had been similar previous conduct by the respondent
  • whether the breaches were properly distinct or arose out of one course of conduct
  • the deliberateness of the breaches
  • the extent to which senior management was involved in the breach
  • the corporation’s contrition, corrective action and cooperation with enforcement authorities
  • general deterrence.

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