Court action over alleged $70,000 underpayment of medical centre employees
8 July 2013
The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched legal action against the former owner-operator of medical centres in Perth and Sydney, alleging nine employees at the centres were underpaid a total of more than $70,000.
Facing Court is Sydney man Tufiq Shah, who formerly operated more than a dozen medical centres through his private company General Practice Support Services, before the company was placed under administration earlier this year.
It is alleged nine employees of Mr Shah’s company across two centres in Perth and one in Sydney were underpaid $70,973 in wages, leave and superannuation entitlements.
The majority of the alleged underpayments relate to the Mends Street Medical Centre, in South Perth, where six employees, a practice manager, receptionist, two nurses and two General Practitioners, were allegedly underpaid $57,983.
A practice manager at the Seville Drive Medical Centre at Armadale, in Perth, was allegedly underpaid $5324.
Two employees, a practice manager and a practice manager/receptionist, at the Rosebery Medical & Dental Centre at Alexandria, in Sydney, were allegedly underpaid a total of $7666.
It is alleged the underpayments are the result of Mr Shah’s company ceasing payments to employees in the weeks before it stopped operating the centres last year.
Fair Work Inspectors discovered the alleged underpayments when they investigated employee complaints.
Acting Fair Work Ombudsman, Michael Campbell, said the significant amounts involved and the failure to rectify the alleged underpayments were significant factors in the decision to commence legal action.
Mr Shah was allegedly involved in multiple breaches of workplace laws. He faces penalties of up to $6,600 per breach.
The Fair Work Ombudsman will seek a Court Order for any fine imposed on Mr Shah to go towards rectifying the alleged underpayments. A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney on July 15.
Employers and employees seeking assistance should visit www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50.
Ryan Pedler, Assistant Director, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902
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