The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the former operator of a commercial cleaning business in western Sydney.
Facing court is a sole trader, who operated ‘Honourable Cleaning’ in Auburn, which is no longer trading.
The regulator began an investigation after receiving requests for assistance from two international students, a married couple from Nepal, who were employed on a casual basis as cleaners between August and October in 2020.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a compliance notice to the operator in January 2021 after forming a belief the workers were underpaid casual minimum wages, including casual loading, under the Cleaning Services Award 2020.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges the former operator, without reasonable excuse, failed to fully comply with the compliance notice, which required him to calculate and back-pay the workers’ entitlements in full.
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,” Parker said.
The FWO is seeking penalties against the operator, who 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 business owner to comply with the compliance notice, which includes rectifying the alleged underpayment amount in full, plus superannuation and interest.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Sydney on 30 June 2022.
Earlier this month the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal action against a cleaning services operator based in Adelaide.
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