Cleaning business faces Court for allegedly underpaying international students

29 February 2016

A cleaning services business in Sydney will face the Federal Circuit Court for allegedly underpaying two international students almost $3000.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against Green Clean (Aust) Pty Ltd and company secretary/sole director Michael Girowal.

This follows their failure to comply with a formal Compliance Notice requesting they back-pay two employees a total of $2943 in outstanding wages and entitlements.

The employees were in Australia on student visas when they were allegedly underpaid their minimum hourly rates, penalty rates, an allowance, annual leave entitlements and wages in lieu of notice of termination between December, 2014 and January, 2015.

The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated after the workers requested assistance.

In December last year, the Fair Work Ombudsman issued a Compliance Notice requiring Green Clean to rectify the alleged underpayment, but it did not comply.

Under the Fair Work Act, business operators must adhere to Compliance Notices or make a Court application for a review if they are seeking to challenge a Notice.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says inspectors made extensive efforts to resolve the matter by agreement, but did not receive sufficient co-operation.

"We prefer to assist employers to rectify non-compliance issues, but we are prepared to take legal action against employers who refuse to engage with us," Ms James said.

Mr Girowal faces a maximum penalty of $5400 and Green Clean (Aust) Pty Ltd faces a maximum penalty of $27,000.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking Court Orders for Green Clean to back-pay the employees in full and for Mr Girowal to register with the My Account service at and complete the education courses for employers in the Online Learning Centre.

Employers and employees seeking assistance can visit or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

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Annie Lawson, Media Adviser
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