Sydney cleaning company operator fined over underpayments

19 December 2011

The former owner-operator of a Sydney cleaning company has been fined $4400 over the underpayment of three workers, following a prosecution by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The Federal Magistrates Court in Sydney imposed the penalty against Forest Lodge man Rosario Pucci, who owned and ran Wash and Go Pty Ltd before the company went into liquidation last year.

Through his company, Pucci operated a number of businesses, including My Car Wash Café on Liverpool Road, Enfield, and a contract cleaning service.

Two full-time café workers at the Liverpool Road site were underpaid a total of $2813 in wages and annual leave entitlements between 2007 and 2009.

A part-time office cleaner was also underpaid $655 in 2009 - making the total alleged underpayment of the three employees $3468.

Pucci was also involved in failing to issue pay slips to employees.

Federal Magistrate Sylvia Emmett ordered that the majority of the penalty be used to rectify the underpayment of the three employees.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says the Court has sent a clear message that underpayment of employees is a serious matter.

A national targeted education and compliance campaign focused on the cleaning industry recovered $242,450 for 621 cleaners earlier this year.

The Fair Work Ombudsman randomly audited the employment records of 315 businesses, finding 117, or 37 per cent, with contraventions of workplace law.

An “Industries” section on the Fair Work Ombudsman website now provides information specifically tailored for employers in the cleaning industry.

The resource is among a number of tools on the website at www.fairwork.gov.au to assist employees and employers to understand their respective workplace rights and obligations.

Employers or employees seeking assistance can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am to 6pm weekdays.

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

Media inquiries:

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

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