Former fitness centre operator in court

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the former operators of a fitness centre in Sydney.

Facing court are Core9 St Ives Pty Ltd, which formerly operated a Core9 Fitness franchise outlet in St Ives, and the company’s sole director Kyle Arnold.

The regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from a worker who had been employed by Core9 St Ives Pty Ltd as a full-time marketing assistant between February 2018 and March 2021.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to the company in August 2021 after forming a belief that the worker had not been paid more than $6000 in accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements, owed under the National Employment Standards, at the end of her employment.

The FWO alleges Core9 St Ives, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required it to calculate and back-pay the worker’s outstanding entitlements. It is alleged Mr Arnold was involved in the contravention.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Mark Scully 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,” Mr Scully said.

The FWO is seeking penalties. Core9 St Ives Pty Ltd faces a penalty of up to $33,300 and Mr Arnold faces a penalty of up to $6,660 for allegedly failing to comply with the Compliance Notice.

The regulator is also seeking an order for the company to comply with the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying the alleged underpayment in full, plus interest.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Sydney on 17 June 2022.

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