The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operators of a cleaning services business in regional Victoria.
Facing court are sole trader Stacey Dale, who operates a business trading as Daily Cleaning Services in Ararat, and her husband Shane Dale, who is also involved in operating and managing the business.
The regulator began an investigation after receiving a request for assistance from an Indian international student who was employed by Mrs Dale as a casual cleaner between March and August 2019.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Mrs Dale in March 2020 after forming a belief the worker was underpaid casual minimum wages and penalty rates for public holiday, weekend, and shift work under the Cleaning Services Award 2010.
It is alleged that the worker has been back-paid $2,100 but more remains owing.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Mrs Dale, without reasonable excuse, failed to fully comply with the Compliance Notice, which required her to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements in full. It is alleged Mr Dale was involved in the contravention.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.
“Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”
“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance,” Ms Parker said.
The FWO is seeking penalties against Mrs Dale and Mr Dale for allegedly failing to comply with the Compliance Notice. They each face a penalty of up to $6,660.
The regulator is also seeking an order for Mrs Dale to comply with the Compliance Notice, which includes calculating and rectifying the alleged underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Melbourne on 5 August 2022.