Salons face court for allegedly underpaying young apprentice hairdressers

13 July 2012

Note: Reference to prosecution in this media release is a general reference to the FWO commencing proceedings for the imposition of civil penalties and should not be taken to be a reference to criminal proceedings.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched a prosecution against the operators of two Melbourne hairdressing salons, alleging two young apprentices were underpaid more than $9000.

Facing court is Camberwell man Craig Francis Lane, who owns the Hennesy Lane Hair Design salons at Kingsway, Glen Waverley and the Rowville Lakes Shopping Centre on Kelletts Road.

Also facing court is Mr Lane’s company Hennesy Lane Hair Design Pty Ltd, through which he operates the two salons.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges two apprentice hairdressers at the salons were underpaid a total of $9669 between 2007 and 2011.

The employees were allegedly not paid for training sessions they were required to attend. The training sessions were allegedly not part of the apprenticeship course.

The apprentices - one aged 16 to 19 at the time and the other aged 22 to 23 - were allegedly also variously underpaid wages, overtime, weekend penalty rates, annual leave entitlements, public holiday pay, a tool allowance and a late night meal allowance.

They were allegedly underpaid amounts of $5263 and $4406 respectively.

The alleged underpayments were discovered when the Fair Work Ombudsman investigated complaints lodged by the employees. Laws relating to keeping employment records were allegedly also breached.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says the significant amount involved for two vulnerable young workers was a key factor in the decision to litigate.

The majority of the underpayments have now been rectified, with only $539 allegedly still owing to one employee.

Mr Lane was allegedly involved in Hennesy Lane Hair Design Pty Ltd committing several breaches of workplace laws. Mr Lane faces maximum penalties of up to $6600 per breach and his company faces maximum penalties of up to $33,000 per breach.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a Court Order for the company to fully rectify the alleged underpayment. A directions hearing is listed for October 10 in the Federal Magistrates Court in Melbourne.

Employers or employees seeking assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit www.fairwork.gov.au A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

Media inquiries:

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

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