Dental clinic operator penalised

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a court-ordered penalty against the operator of a dental clinic based in Seaford in south-east Melbourne.

The Federal Circuit Court has imposed a $16,500 penalty against Helix Bianca Nominees Pty Ltd, which operates Seaford Dental Clinic.

The penalty was imposed in response to the company failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring it to calculate and back-pay entitlements owing to two former employees.

In addition to the penalty, the Court has ordered Helix Bianca Nominees to comply with the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying underpayments in full plus superannuation, and to pay interest on the underpayments.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said companies that fail to act on Compliance Notices face court-imposed penalties, in addition to having to back-pay underpaid staff.

“We make every effort to secure voluntary compliance with Compliance Notices but where they are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive all their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated the company after receiving requests for assistance from the two former employees.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to the company in October 2020 after forming a belief the company had underpaid the workers’ entitlements owed under the Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010.

The inspector believed that one worker, a dental prosthetist, was not paid weekday casual loading entitlements during their employment at the clinic between February 2019 and January 2020.

The inspector believed the other worker, engaged as a full-time dental technician from April 2014 to April 2019, was not paid their accrued annual leave and leave loading entitlements when their employment ended.

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