FWO secures penalties against two employers for failing to comply with Compliance Notices

FWO secures penalties against two employers for failing to comply with Compliance Notices

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has secured penalties against two separate Sydney-based businesses in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia for failing to comply with statutory Compliance Notices issued by the authority relating to underpayment of entitlements.

In the first case, the FWO secured penalties amounting to $21,890, comprising $20,000 against Woollahra-based beauty salon, Get Plucked Holdings Pty Ltd and $1,890 against the businesses’ sole director, Sharon Lee Hamilton-Clarke.

The penalties arose from two separate Compliance Notices issued against the business in 2019 and 2021, requiring the business to calculate and back pay entitlements to two workers. The business failed to comply and only back-paid the workers after the FWO initiated legal action.

A Fair Work Inspector issued notices after forming a belief that the business had underpaid a receptionist her minimum wages and annual leave entitlements and, later, that the business had underpaid a beauty therapist her minimum wages, annual leave entitlements, and payment in lieu of notice upon her termination.

Both employees were covered by the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010.

In the second case, the FWO secured penalties in excess of $12,000 against the operator of a roofing business trading as ‘The brothers metal roofing’.

The court imposed a fine of $6,300 against the business’ sole trader, Winiata Tipene, for failing to comply with a notice to back pay entitlements to a plumber and casual labourer totalling $6,666.

A Fair Work Inspector issued notices after forming a belief that the business had underpaid the plumber minimum wages, allowances, and annual leave entitlements, and the labourer was underpaid casual minimum hourly rates, allowances, and penalty rates for working Saturday.

Both employees were covered by the Plumbing and Fire Sprinklers Award 2020.

The FWO’s investigation capacity will be enhanced with the Federal government announcing the introduction of The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022, which includes amendments to transfer enforcement functions of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), with an effective date of 10 November 2022.

Last week’s Federal budget included funding of $69.9 million over four years to the FWO to regulate workplace laws in the building and construction industry.

Both of the above cases again highlight the significant penalties that the courts will impose on employers who do not cooperate with relevant authorities when faced with wage claims from current or former employees.

Beauty business penalised – Fair Work Ombudsman

Sydney roofing business operator penalised – Fair Work Ombudsman

For questions about compliance with awards or agreements, wage claims, the FWO, or other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 0417 622 178, 1300 925 529 or via email to dean.cameron@workforceadvisory.com.au

Disclaimer: This information is provided as general advice on workplace relations and employment law. It does not constitute legal advice, and it is always advisable to seek further information regarding specific workplace issues. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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