Rose farm owner faces court over alleged $16,000 underpayment of apprentice

23 August 2011

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched a prosecution against the operator of a retail flower business in Melbourne for allegedly underpaying a young apprentice more than $16,000.

Facing court is Gavin Francis Sheehan, who owns and runs Greenvale Rose Farm at Mickleham Road, Attwood.

Mr Sheehan allegedly underpaid an apprentice horticultural employee $16,680 between October, 2007 and October, 2009.

It is alleged the apprentice, aged in his early 20s at the time, was paid $301 to $383 per week.

Court documents allege the apprentice was entitled to receive more than $450 a week for the majority of his employment.

The apprentice was allegedly also not paid a small amount of accrued annual leave entitlements and wages in lieu of notice when he resigned.

Fair Work inspectors became aware of the alleged underpayment when they investigated a complaint from the employee.

Mr Sheehan also allegedly breached workplace laws relating to the keeping of employment records and issuing pay slips.

A decision to prosecute was made because of the significant amount involved and the employer’s failure to rectify the matter.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Mr Sheehan committed several breaches of workplace laws. He faces maximum penalties of up to $6600 per breach.

The case will be listed for a directions hearing in the Federal Magistrates Court in Melbourne later this year.

Employers or employees seeking assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit Fair Work Ombudsman website.

A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50 and information on the website is translated into 27 different languages.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter @fairwork_gov_au external-icon.png.

Media inquiries:

Ryan Pedler, Senior Adviser Media & Stakeholder Relations
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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