The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has commenced legal action against Sharna Harvey, who operates Shan’s Cleaning Services at Whyalla, South Australia. According to a press release from the FWO, Harvey allegedly underpaid eight employees more than $7,000.
‘The employees were allegedly underpaid for cleaning work at residential and commercial properties between January and April 2015. One worker also performed clerical duties. Five of the workers were allegedly paid nothing at all.’
The FWO will seek a court order for Ms Harvey to pay the employees the amounts that are allegedly owed, plus interest.
In July 2015, the FWO served Ms Harvey with a compliance notice requiring her to rectify the alleged underpayments within 19 days, but it was ignored.
Under the Fair Work Act, business operators must adhere to compliance notices or make a court application for a review if they are seeking to challenge a notice.
Record-keeping and pay-slip laws were allegedly also breached.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said inspectors made efforts to resolve the matter by agreement, but had not received sufficient co-operation.
“We prefer to assist employers to rectify inadvertent non-compliance issues, but we are prepared to take legal action against employers who refuse to co-operate,” she said.
Ms Harvey faces maximum penalties of up to $5,100 per contravention.
A directions hearing is scheduled for the Federal Circuit Court in Adelaide on 3 February.