The operator of a cleaning businesses known as the Cleaning Fairy is facing court over alleged underpayments.
Furthermore, the employer allegedly failed to comply with a Compliance Notice relating to the underpayments.
Cleaning Fairy investigated after complaints
Facing the Federal Circuit Court is Kerryn Ainley, who runs the Cleaning Fairy in Ballarat.
The Fair Work Ombudsman commenced an investigation as a result of receiving complaints from four cleaners.
As a result, inspectors concluded Ainley failed to pay the workers a casual loading they are entitled for under the Cleaning Services Award.
Consequently, the regulator issued her with a Compliance Notice to check if staff had been paid correctly, and to rectify any underpayments.
Furthermore, the regulator alleges that Ainley did not take any action in response to the Compliance Notice.
Compliance Notices important tool
Ombudsman Sandra Parker says Compliance Notices are an important tool to recover unpaid wages for workers:
“Under the Fair Work Act, inspectors can issue a Compliance Notice if they form a belief that an employer has breached certain workplace laws.
“Where employers do not comply with our notices, a court can order them to pay penalties in addition to back-paying any affected employees.”
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan welcomed the court action by the regulator.
“The workplace watchdog has been too soft for too long on rouge employers,” he said.
“Hopefully, this court action will send a message to those doing the wrong thing that there are consequences for ripping off workers.”
Consequently, Ainley faces a $6,300 penalty for failing to take any action in response to the Compliance Notice.
Fair Work is also seeking a Court Order requiring her to rectify the underpayments, in addition to superannuation and interest.
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