Hairdressing chain ordered to pay $90,000 to workers

The owner of a hairdressing chain has been ordered to pay $90,000 in unpaid employment entitlements and interest to two employees.

Wei Zhu – trading as Shining Quick Cuts – was ordered by the Industrial Magistrates Court to pay the employees their outstanding entitlements after enforcement action was taken by Private Sector Labour Relations.

The order followed an investigation by industrial inspectors that resulted in the requirement to pay the employees in accordance with the state Hairdressers Award 1989.

The employees, who were migrant workers on visas, were hairdressers at the budget hair cutting chain that has stores located in shopping centres across the Perth metropolitan area.

Mr Zhu failed to pay the two employees minimum wages, overtime, penalty rates for Sundays and public holidays, meal and tool allowances and annual leave on termination.

Furthermore, he failed to keep records of the employees’ working hours and obstructed industrial inspectors investigating the underpayments.

Private Sector Labour Relations Executive Director Lorraine Field said the case highlighted the risk employers faced if they conducted their business without regard to employment laws.

“This is a clear example of a well-known business profiting by not paying employees their correct entitlements,” Ms Field said. “The size of the underpayments is particularly concerning in this case.

“Not only are employers liable to repay any unpaid entitlements to employees, they can also be ordered to pay penalties. Compliance with employment laws is not optional.”

The Industrial Magistrates Court has scheduled the hearing on penalties against Mr Zhu for August 2021.

Businesses in the state industrial relations system include those that operate as sole traders, unincorporated partnerships and unincorporated trusts.

Information on state employment laws is available at www.dmirs.wa.gov.au/wageline or by calling Wageline on 1300 655 266.

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