The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a penalty against the former operator of a cleaning business at Whyalla, in regional South Australia, following the underpayment of eight employees.
Sharna Harvey, who operated Sharn’s Cleaning Services, has been penalised $1400 in the Federal Circuit Court for failing to comply with a Compliance Notice last year requiring her to back-pay eight underpaid employees a total of $7673, and also failing to provide the employees with payslips and comply with record keeping obligations.
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 Compliance Notice.
The employees were placed with Harvey through an employment agency specialising in helping unemployed persons transition from the receipt of social security benefits to paid employment.
The employees were underpaid for cleaning clerical work they undertook in relation to residential properties, deceased estates and mining sites between January and April 2015.
Five of the employees did not receive any payments at all while they were employed by Harvey.
Harvey back-paid the workers only after the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal action against her.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says underpayment of cleaners’ minimum lawful entitlements is a persistent non-compliance issue nationally and the cleaning industry will continue to be a priority for her Agency.