Cleaning operator penalised

Victorian cleaning business boss fined after failing to pay workers on time.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a penalty in court against the operator of a Ballarat cleaning business.

The Federal Circuit Court has imposed a $1250 penalty against the operator of the ‘Cleaning Fairy’ business as a sole trader.

The penalty was imposed in response to breaching the Fair Work Act by failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring the trader to calculate and back-pay entitlements owing to four cleaners.

The owner back-paid the cleaners, who had been underpaid a total of $18,603 over an 18-month period, after the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal action.

According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, the Compliance Notice was not fully complied with until about the day of the penalty hearing, in December 2020.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices face court-imposed penalties in addition to having to back-pay underpaid staff.

“We make every effort to secure voluntary compliance with Compliance Notices but where they are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive all their lawful entitlements,” Parker said.

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”

Fair Work Inspectors commenced an investigation into the business after receiving requests for assistance from the four underpaid cleaners.

The Compliance Notice was issued in November 2019 after an inspector formed a belief that the employees had not received the casual loading they were entitled to under the Cleaning Services Award 2010.

Judge Heather Riley said it was “fundamental that employers must pay their employees their minimum entitlements”.

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