Fair Work Ombudsman secures $10,000 back-pay for Gold Coast hairdresser

30 April 2010

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured more than $10,000 back-pay for a young Gold Coast hairdresser.

The hairdresser was underpaid $10,114 when she worked full-time at the Sassy Hair Art salon at Southport from August, 2007 to April, 2008.

After requests to rectify the underpayment were ignored, the Fair Work Ombudsman launched a prosecution against Nicole Maree Darcy, who owned and managed the salon until it closed last year.

Following recent negotiations with Ms Darcy, who now lives in Melbourne, the Fair Work Ombudsman has discontinued its prosecution in return for Ms Darcy belatedly rectifying the underpayment.

Fair Work Ombudsman Queensland Director Julie Wade says a key factor in the decision to discontinue the legal action is Ms Darcy's financial position.

"After careful consideration, we decided the priority was to resolve the case in a way that allowed us to recover the entitlements owing to this young worker."

The hairdresser, aged 25 at the time of the underpayment, was underpaid her minimum hourly rate and annual leave entitlements as a result of being paid apprentice rates, despite never being registered as an apprentice.

Under workplace laws, only officially registered apprentices can be paid apprentice rates.

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.

Media inquiries:

Craig Bildstien, Director Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0419 818 484

Ryan Pedler, Media & Stakeholder Relations Senior Adviser
(03) 9954 2561, 0434 365 924

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