10 February 2010
Former hotelier faces court for allegedly paying employee just $7 an hour
The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched a prosecution against the former operators of a hotel in North-East Victoria for allegedly paying a casual employee just $7 an hour.
Documents lodged in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court allege the worker was underpaid a total of $27,875 between October, 2006 and May, 2009.
Facing court is Ringinn Pty Ltd, which previously ran the Whorouly Hotel near Wangaratta, and Greg Walter Ring, the company’s sole owner.
The Fair Work Ombudsman claims the employee generally worked seven days a week and was usually paid a flat rate of $7 per hour, or $90 to $150 per week.
He was entitled to receive between $17.31 and $19.50 an hour for his duties, which included delivering mail, driving and bar work.
Fair Work inspectors discovered the alleged underpayment when they investigated a complaint from the employee.
Mr Ring was allegedly also involved in his company failing to make and keep proper employment records for the employee and failing to issue him payslips.
Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the decision to prosecute was made because of the significant amount involved and the employer’s failure to rectify the matter - despite numerous requests.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Ringinn and Mr Ring have committed several breaches of workplace laws.
The maximum penalty per breach is $33,000 for Ringinn and $6600 for Mr Ring for the underpayment matters and $5500 for Ringinn and $1100 for Mr Ring for the employment record and payslip matters.
The Fair Work Ombudsman promotes harmonious, productive and co-operative workplaces. It also monitors compliance and investigates breaches of national workplace laws.
Employers or employees seeking assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fwo.gov.au. For translations call 13 14 50.
Craig Bildstien, Director Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0419 818 484
Ryan Pedler, Media & Stakeholder Relations Senior Adviser
(03) 9954 2561, 0434 365 924