Former Gold Coast childcare operator penalised

12 April 2022

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a $45,000 penalty in court against a company that formerly operated a Gold Coast childcare centre and a court order for the company to back-pay workers more than $250,000.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed the penalty against Kids Academy Hope Island Pty Ltd, which formerly operated the Kids Academy Hope Island childcare centre.

The penalty was imposed in response to the company failing to comply with three Compliance Notices requiring the back-payment of entitlements to 38 workers it employed before the centre closed in 2020.

The Court also ordered Kids Academy Hope Island Pty Ltd take the action required by the Compliance Notices, which includes back-paying 37 of the workers a total of $250,290.35 in redundancy entitlements owed to them.

The company must also calculate and rectify underpayments to one worker who is owed pay-in-lieu-of-notice-of-termination.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face court-imposed penalties on top of having to back-pay workers.

“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”

The regulator began an investigation after receiving requests for assistance from workers who were employed at the centre when it closed.

A Fair Work Inspector issued Compliance Notices to Kids Academy Hope Island in February and March 2021 after forming a belief the workers had not been paid all entitlements owed under the National Employment Standards.

Employers and employees can visit or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance about their rights and obligations in the workplace. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

The website includes targeted resources for small businesses in the Small Business Showcase.

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