Perth-based company Housekeeping Pty Ltd, as well as the business’s manager, Catherine Paino-Povey, is facing court after the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) launched a prosecution alleging it underpaid six foreign cleaners a total of more than $22,000 between June 2011 and January 2012.
According to the 28 February statement, the workers, aged in their 20s and 30s, were foreign nationals from Taiwan, China, New Zealand and Ireland. The Chinese employee in particularly spoke little English.
‘It is alleged the employees regularly worked nine to 10 hours a day cleaning homes at various locations in suburban Perth but were paid for only 7.6 hours. It is alleged that the employees were also underpaid overtime and penalty rates, had money unlawfully deducted from their wages and were underpaid leave, meal break and travelling time entitlements.’
The underpaid amounts allegedly ranged from $581 to $4554 despite each cleaner working for the company for a period of only one to three months. ‘Workplace laws relating to pay slips, frequency of payments, keeping employment records and complying with Notices to Produce Employment Records were allegedly also breached.’
‘Fair Work inspectors discovered the alleged breaches when they investigated complaints lodged by workers. FWO Nicholas Wilson said the significant amount involved and vulnerability of the foreign workers were key factors in the decision to prosecute.’
Paino-Povey was allegedly involved in the company trading as Housekeeping Pty Ltd committing several breaches of workplace laws. She faces penalties of up to $6600 per breach and up to $33,000 per breach respectively.
‘The FWO is also seeking a Court Order for back-payment. A hearing is listed in the Federal Magistrates Court in Perth on 6 August 2013.’