On Tuesday 31 May the Fair Work Commission (FWC) delivered its annual wage review. This decision will have a significant impact on all...
UnderpaymentsOctober 28, 2014
The well respected Judge Heather Riley of Melbourne has detailed her sincere negative views of the hair and beauty industry. She has detailed in a recent case how there are ‘considerable incidences of underpayments of staff in the health and beauty industry across Australia’.
The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has taken legal action against Cuts Only The Original Barber Pty Ltd in Australian Federal Court. The hair salon chain has been under investigation many times before and has now for the seventh time been found to have underpaid a 21 year old apprentice. The FWO has fined the salon $70,000. Company owners Paul Mark Salter and George Dimaris have been fined $10,031 each and the company has been fined $50,160.
Judge Riley says that “It is important that a message be sent, both to the respondents and the industry generally that failure to pay workers their correct entitlements is not economic. Penalties should be set at a level that means that it does not pay to underpay workers”. She found the salon owners guilty of deliberately underpaying the staff member who was vulnerable because she was desperate to finish her apprenticeship.
The FWO spokesperson Natalie James expressed her concerns about the number of times the company had failed to pay staff correctly, “We like to work with employers to resolve inadvertent underpayments when they occur but we will not tolerate repeat and deliberate underpayments of employees,” Ms James said.
If you are an employer and have staff who are working as apprentices it is important that you are aware of their wage entitlements. If you would like to review your current staff wages or have any questions referring to apprenticeships or underpayments call Employsure on 1300 651 415. Employsure can also support employers who are facing a claim or investigation by the FWO with legal representation and 24/7 advice.
*Information sourced via the Medianet AAP Business website.