The short answer is yes, in certain circumstances.
In the case of Antuzis v DJ Houghton Catching Services Ltd, the directors were personally liable for a company’s breaches to its employees, which included the refusal to allow paid holiday, not paying for time actually worked, refusal to pay overtime and paying less than the minimum wage for agricultural workers. The Court decided that in knowingly directing the company to breach its statutory obligations, the directors were not acting in the best interests of the company, referring in particular to the severe damage done to its reputation.Directors are not, as a general rule, personally liable for a company’s breaches. However, this case highlights the risk they face if they knowingly direct the company to breach its legal obligations, and in doing so fail in their duties to act in the company’s best interests. So a serious failure to consider “the likely consequences of any decision in the long term; the interests of the company’s employees; or the impact of the company’s operations on the community” might fall into this category.
Although the case does not create new law, it may well be that the decision leads to an increase in the number of employees bringing claims against individual directors.