A childcare centre operator has been penalised $30,240 for failing to back-pay two migrant employees.
The pair worked at the childcare centre for a year under the false guise of a volunteer arrangement.
Childcare centre operator penalised
The Federal Circuit Court penalised Jan Shang $5,040, who used to run the Joys Child Care centre in Paramatta in Sydney.
The court also penalised his company, Joys Child Care Limited, a further $25,200.
The court imposed the penalties as a result of Shang and his company failing to comply with two Compliance Notices.
Additionally, the court ordered Shang to back-pay the two workers $59,752 with interest.
Workers incorrectly considered volunteers
Fair Work investigated Joys Child Care as a result of the employees complaining about wage theft.
Investigators found the volunteer arrangement was not legitimate because the workers performed productive work under little supervision that was not a formal part of their tertiary studies.
As a result, Fair Work issued the Compliance Notices requiring Joys Child Care to back-pay the employees.
“NEW LAWS MAKING A WAGE THEFT A CRIME INTRODUCED TO QUEENSLAND PARLIAMENT”
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the case showed the value of Compliance Notices.
“Compliance Notices are an important tool we use to get unpaid wages back into workers’ pockets in a timely manner outside of the courts.
“If employers do not comply with Compliance Notices, they can face court action and fines, in addition to the initial wages back-payment bill.”
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan welcomed the legal action.
“Too many greedy employers escape legal action and subsequent penalties because Fair Work is quick to let them off the hook by offering Enforceable Undertakings,” he said.
“We need to see more employers like Mr Shang hauled before the courts to be held to account for their dishonest and disgraceful conduct.”
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