A hairdressing salon operator has been penalised $16,000 for ignoring a Compliance Notice.
The Notice required him to back-pay outstanding entitlements owed to a full-time apprentice hairdresser.
Hairdressing salon penalised
The Federal Circuit and Family Court penalised R&A Barbers Zone Pty Ltd $13,336.
The company operates ‘The Barbers Zone’ in Fairfield in Sydney’s west.
The court also penalised company director Arsin Yousif $2,664.
The wage theft
The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated the salon after receiving a wage theft complaint from the apprentice.
An inspector formed a belief that Mr Yousif had failed to pay the worker all entitlements owed.
They subsequently issued the salon owner with two Compliance Notices in May 2021.
The Notices identified underpayment of the minimum wage, penalty rates, annual leave loading in addition to JobKeeper payments.
Employee ‘particularly vulnerable’
Judge Douglas Humphreys described the worker as “particularly vulnerable” and that Yousif had “taken advantage” of him.
Judge Humphreys said Mr Yousif and his company prioritised “their own interests at the expense of the employee’s minimum entitlements.”
Moreover, he found the company’s “failure to comply with the compliance notices demonstrates serious disregard” of its workplace obligations.
As a consequences, Judge Humphries said there is a need to impose penalties that will deter the company from future breaches.
He also wanted to “send a message to other employers in the industry to take timely action to comply with notices.”
“A clear message needs to be sent to employers that there will be a cost that outweighs any benefit in underpaying employees their award entitlements,” Judge Humphreys said.
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Compliance Notices ‘not optional’
Meanwhile, industrial advocate Miles Heffernan warned employers not to ignore Compliance Notices.
“A court will order Employers to back-pay what they owe in addition to hefty court-ordered penalties,” he said.
Mr Heffernan said Compliance Notices are not optional.
“These notices offer an opportunity for employers to rectify underpayments without penalty, so ignore them at your peril,” he said.
Main photo: Jacob Ammentorp Lund/iStock
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