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Melbourne cleaning operator exploits overseas workers

An operator is facing the Federal Circuit Court for allegedly exploiting workers, despite having been put on notice to pay minimum entitlements.
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Melbourne cleaning operator exploits overseas workers

Melbourne cleaning operator exploits overseas workers

12 December 2017

​A contract cleaning operator in Melbourne is facing the Federal Circuit Court for allegedly exploiting three overseas workers, despite having been put on notice to pay employees’ lawful minimum entitlements.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the owner and his company as it is alleged three casual employees were unpaid a total of $10,428 between October 2015 and August 2016.
The workers were allegedly variously underpaid entitlements including minimum rates for ordinary hours, casual loadings, overtime, minimum engagement pay and penalty rates for weekend and public holiday work.

Laws relating to frequency-of-pay, record-keeping and pay slips were allegedly also breached.
This is a repeat allegation for the owner and his company as investigations relating to alleged underpayments were previously conducted.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said employers need to understand that failure to rectify issues within their operations would lead to court and the potential for substantial financial penalties.

“We go to great lengths to promote compliance in Australian workplaces, so we have no patience for business operators who allegedly commit one breach after another.”

The owner is facing penalties of up to $10,800 per contravention of workplace laws and his company is facing additional penalties of up to $54,000 per contravention.

In addition, the Fair Work Ombudsman is seeking Court Orders for the owner and his company to back-pay the three workers in full.

An injunction restraining the owner and his company from underpaying employees in future is also being sought. If the injunction is granted, each could face contempt of court proceedings for any further contraventions proven in court.

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