In a recent, the Fair Work Ombudsman (the “FWO”) has announced that a day spa operation has back-paid $65,939.87 to 13 employees after admitting he made unlawful deductions from their salary and under-paid penalty rates and annual leave entitlements in contravention of both the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the “FW Act”) and the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010. Sea One North Pty Ltd (trading as Endota Spa Sydney), is a franchisee of Endota (No 1) Pty Ltd, (trading as Endota Spa), which markets itself as Australia’s largest day spa and employs over 1,000 employees in over 100 spas. The affected employees were foreign nationals from various countries including Poland, Ireland, Britain and Japan.
TheEndota Spa Sydney after it received requests for assistance from two skilled 457 Visa holders, who alleged that the company was making unlawful deductions from their pay to cover visa-related costs.
During the investigation, Fair Work inspectors ("inspectors") found that between 1 May 2014 and 7 February 2018 the company made unlawful fortnightly deductions from the pay of 13 workers who were holding 457 Visas, totalling $58,025.
Endota Spa Sydney and Chris Barbour (its director) deducted $250 per fortnight from the workers’ pay. The deductions stopped once the costs of the workers’ visa sponsorship process had been reached, which could be as much as $7,000 for an individual worker.
This amount was withheld from the worker’s pay and Mr Barbour promised it would be repaid after they completed a specified employment term with Endota Spa Sydney. As disclosed in the(the “EU”):
According to the:
Inspectors also recovered $7,914.87 in unpaid penalty rates and annual leave entitlements. The company has back-paid all workers in full for the unlawful deductions and under-payments, and has co-operated fully with FWO throughout the investigation process.
said deducting pay from workers’ salary was only allowed in limited circumstances and must be principally for their benefit:
Thereports that Endota Spa Sydney and Chris Barbour have signed the with the FWO after admitting to the breaches. The company is compelled to implement audits across its six NSW spa centres to ensure employees are receiving their correct entitlements.
Themust also ensure all managers complete workplace relations training, and will also make a contrition payment of $10,000 to the Commonwealth Government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund. The EU will expire on 30 June 2021, unless it is breached.
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