The Fair Work Ombudsman is continuing its crackdown on businesses that ignore Compliance Notices.
The Notices give a business the chance to rectify underpayments to workers without financial penalties.
However, many employers fail to comply with the Notices, resulting in court action.
Compliance Notices crackdown
The latest case involves Jorge Viota, who operates the ‘Jorge Viota Hairdressers and Barbers’ salon on Lygon Street in Melbourne.
The regulator commenced an investigation following a complaint from a casual hairdressing assistant who worked at the salon.
The inspector believed Viota failed to pay the employee:
- proper weekday casual rates;
- Saturday casual rates; and also
- public holiday penalty rates December 2015 and December 2017.
Employer given several chances to comply
As a result, Fair Work issued Viota with a Compliance Notice requiring him to calculate and back-pay the assistant her outstanding wages and entitlements.
The regulator said it provided him with several reminders to comply with the Notice in light of the current pandemic.
However, when he failed to act, Fair Work commenced legal action.
Workplace laws will be enforced
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator will continue to enforce workplace laws and take matters to court, despite the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on businesses.
“Where our requests are not complied with, we will take appropriate action to protect employees.
“A court can order business operators to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”
Fair Work is seeking penalties against Viota, in addition to court orders requiring him to comply with the Compliance Notice including rectifying the underpayments in full, plus interest.
As a result of the court action, he faces a maximum penalty of $6,300.
The Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne has a directions hearings listed on 27 October 2020.
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