Former Whorouly hotelier fined $25,000 for underpaying casual worker

29 June 2010

The former operators of the Whorouly Hotel in North-East Victoria have been fined a total of $25,000 for underpaying a former casual employee.

The Victorian Magistrates Court has imposed a $21,000 penalty against Ringinn Pty Ltd and a further $4000 against the company’s sole owner, Greg Walter Ring.

The penalties follow a prosecution by the Fair Work Ombudsman, which alleged that the former hotel operators underpaid a former casual employee almost $30,000 over two and a half years.

The Fair Work Ombudsman claimed the man was paid just $90 to $150 to undertake various bar, transport and mail duties, often working seven days a week.

Fair Work Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell says the decision to proceed to litigation was made because of the large amount involved and the former employer’s refusal to rectify the matter.

“Co-operation with us throughout this matter has been very limited,” he said.

The $29,977.37 owed to the former hotel employee remains outstanding.

Handing down his decision, Magistrate Franz Holzer indicated that a penalty was necessary as Ring had shown little remorse, failed to co-operate and the underpayment was significant.

Mr Campbell says it is important for employers in regional areas to ensure they have up-to-date information on wages and entitlements applicable to their staff.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools on its website, www.fairwork.gov.au, to assist employees and employers check minimum rates of pay, including PayCheck and Payroll Check.

Small to medium-size businesses without human resources staff can also ensure they are better equipped when hiring, managing and dismissing employees by using free template employment documentation with step-by-step instructions for accessing a series of Best Practice Guides.

For assistance or further information, contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays. For translations, call 13 14 50.

Media inquiries:

Craig Bildstien, Director, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0419 818 484
craig.bildstien@fwo.gov.au

Richard Honey, Media & Stakeholder Relations Adviser
(03) 9954 2716, 0457 924,146
richard.honey@fwo.gov.au

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