$10 an hour doesn’t cut it at beauty salon

25 November 2015 

A Melbourne hair and beauty salon paid a South Korean visa-holder just $10 an hour, a Fair Work Ombudsman investigation has found.

The 37-year-old should have been paid up to $18.52 for normal hours and as much as $37.04 on Sundays.

After receiving a request for assistance, the Fair Work Ombudsman found she was short-changed a total of $5162 over six months to February this year.

The employee, who has since resigned, was underpaid her minimum hourly rate, penalty rates and annual leave entitlements.

The business – Jisu Design Pty Ltd on Lonsdale Street in the CBD – has co-operated with the Fair Work Ombudsman and repaid the money.

The employer, a South Korean migrant, told Fair Work inspectors he paid the low hourly rate because he deemed the employee to be a “trainee”.

However, the employee was never registered with an accredited training organisation and should have been paid according to the terms and conditions of the Hair and Beauty Industry Award.

The business was issued with two on-the-spot fines totalling $1800 for failure to keep proper employment records and failure to issue pay-slips.

It has also been asked to sign an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) to encourage behavioural change and future compliance with workplace laws.

The Fair Work Ombudsman continues to find employers from non-English speaking backgrounds who have little or no understanding of their workplace obligations or the seriousness of non-compliance.

Ms James says the Fair Work Ombudsman treats the exploitation of overseas workers very seriously.

“Employers simply cannot undercut the minimum lawful entitlements of their employees based on what they think the job may be worth, what the employee is happy to accept, what other businesses are paying, or what the job may pay in their country of origin.”

“It is important that there is a fair, competitive environment for employers who are doing the right thing by creating a level playing field in relation to business costs,” Ms James said.

Ms James encouraged employers who had any uncertainty about whether their workplace practices to visit the website at www.fairwork.gov.au or phone the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a new online Hairdressing Assist tool at www.fairwork.gov.au/hairdressingassist.

Follow Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James on Twitter @NatJamesFWO external-icon.png, the Fair Work Ombudsman @fairwork_gov_au External link icon or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/fairwork.gov.au External link icon.

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