Court action over alleged $3000 underpayment of young apprentice

30 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 is prosecuting the operators of a Melbourne hairdressing salon, alleging a young apprentice at the salon was underpaid more than $3000.

Facing court is Gas Hair Studio Pty Ltd, which operates the Mariposa Cafe, Hair and Beauty salon at Kingsway, Glen Waverley.

Also facing court are company directors  Anne-Marie Drummond, of Mount Waverley, and Craig Francis Lane, of Camberwell, who jointly own the salon.

It is alleged an apprentice hairdresser was not paid for a series of training sessions her employer required her to attend when she was employed at the salon between March, 2006 and October, 2007.

The training sessions were allegedly not part of the apprenticeship course.

The apprentice, who was aged 20 to 22 at the time, was allegedly also underpaid a late night meal allowance, overtime pay, annual leave entitlements and public holiday pay.

The total underpayment alleged is $3627.

The alleged underpayment was discovered when the Fair Work Ombudsman investigated a complaint lodged by the employee. Record-keeping laws were allegedly also breached.

The alleged underpayment was rectified only after the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced its legal proceedings.
Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Mark Scully says the alleged underpayment of a young worker was a key factor in the decision to prosecute.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Ms Drummond was involved in Gas Hair Studio Pty Ltd committing several breaches of workplace laws and that Mr Lane was involved in one of the breaches, relating to annual leave entitlements.

Ms Drummond and Mr Lane face maximum penalties of up to $6600 per breach and the company faces maximum penalties of up to $33,000 per breach. A directions hearing is listed for October 10 in the Federal Magistrates Court in Melbourne.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has also commenced a separate prosecution against Mr Lane in relation to alleged underpayments at two other hairdressing salons, see the Salons face court for allegedly underpaying young apprentice hairdressers media release for more information.

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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