Heavy fines for Fremantle hairdresser underpaying staff

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The Industrial Magistrates Court has fined the owner of a Fremantle hairdressing salon over $7,000 for underpaying two employees more than $9,000 between 2011 and 2013.

Maurizio Raffa, who owned the Amore for Hair salon, was found to have underpaid a junior apprentice hairdresser $7,300.05 and a senior hairdresser $2,025.72. Mr Raffa was fined $5,830 for underpaying the apprentice and a further $1,570 for underpaying the senior hairdresser.

The Court found that Mr Raffa had paid the 15 year old apprentice below the minimum lawful award rate for the entire two-year period of her engagement and had also failed to pay the apprentice for tool allowance and annual leave loading.

Labour Relations Compliance and Education Director, Mr Joseph Lee said it is extremely disappointing to see an employer fail to pay appropriate rates to a vulnerable young person.

“The rates paid to an apprentice are already low compared to those paid to other employees”, Mr Lee said.   

Both employees did not receive any payment for a two week period of work they performed for Mr Raffa in May 2013. 

“In good faith, both employees worked for two weeks with the reasonable expectation that they would be paid for that work. Unfortunately, the employer failed to pay them at all for that work”, Mr Lee said.

The Industrial Magistrates Court also ordered Mr Raffa pay interest of $1,557.62 to the apprentice and $349.62 to the senior hairdresser as well as costs of $430.00.

 “In the end it has cost the employer far more than if he had simply paid the employee correctly at the appropriate time.”  Mr Lee said

“I urge all employers to ensure they are paying their staff correctly by contacting the Department of Commerce’s free and confidential Wageline service on 1300 655 266.”

END OF RELEASE

Media Contact: Joseph Lee 6251 2136 

Labour Relations
Media release
04 Mar 2016

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