Gold Coast hairdressing salon operator in court
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action in the Federal Circuit Court against the operator of a hairdressing salon located on the Gold Coast.
Facing court is Ms Hala Dib, who operates a salon trading as Michael Dib Robina in the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre.
The regulator commenced its investigation following a referral from the Queensland Department of Employment, Small Business and Training. During the investigation, the Fair Work Ombudsman also received a request for assistance from one employee.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Ms Dib in April 2020 after forming a belief three employees were underpaid the adult apprentice minimum wage and part-time minimum wage entitlements owed under the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010 for work performed between April and May 2019. Two of the employees worked as hairdressers and one employee was completing a hairdressing apprenticeship.
A second Compliance Notice was issued to Ms Dib in July 2020 after the inspector formed a belief an additional employee, who was aged 16 at the time and employed as a salon assistant, was not paid at all for work performed between June and July 2019, including her entitlements to the minimum wage for a junior employee and weekend penalty rates.
The FWO alleges Ms Dib, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the two Compliance Notices which required her to calculate and back-pay the workers’ outstanding entitlements.
In line with the FWO’s proportionate approach to regulation during the COVID-19 pandemic, the FWO made several attempts to secure voluntary compliance before commencing legal action.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.
“Under the Fair Work Act, Compliance Notices are important tools used by inspectors if they form a belief that an employer has breached workplace laws,” Ms Parker said.
“Where employers do not comply with our requests, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”
“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance.”
The FWO is seeking penalties against Ms Dib for two alleged contraventions, being the failure to comply with two Compliance Notices. Ms Dib faces penalties of up to $6,300 per contravention.
The regulator is also seeking a court order for Ms Dib to take the action required by the Compliance Notices, which includes calculating and rectifying any underpayments in full for the employees, plus superannuation and interest.
A date for a directions hearing in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane is still to be listed.
Employers and employees can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance about their rights and obligations in the workplace. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.
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Matthew Raggatt, Assistant Media Director (A/g)
Mobile: 0466 470 507