Consultancy company in court for allegedly underpaying Indian International student

The worker had been underpaid under the Clerks (Private Sector) Award 2020 and National Employment Standards.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against Sydney-based business consultancy company SNS Group Pty Ltd.

The regulator began an investigation after receiving a request for assistance from a worker who was employed by SNS Group to perform administrative duties between June and September 2020.

A Fair Work Inspector issued two Compliance Notices to SNS Group in March 2021 after forming a belief the worker had been underpaid under the Clerks (Private Sector) Award 2020 and National Employment Standards.

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The worker, an international student from India, was allegedly underpaid minimum wages and annual leave entitlements.

The FWO alleges SNS Group, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notices, which required it to calculate the underpayment and back-pay the worker’s outstanding entitlements.

Representative Image source: Wikipedia

A breach relating to payslip content obligations under the Fair Work Act is also alleged. 

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws in a proportionate manner during the COVID-19 pandemic and take business operators to court where lawful requests are not complied with.

“Where employers do not comply, 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,” Ms Parker said.

The FWO is seeking penalties against SNS Group.

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The maximum penalty for failing to comply with a Compliance Notice is $33,300 and the company faces a penalty of up to $66,000 for the alleged pay-slip contravention.

The regulator is also seeking an order for the company to comply with the Compliance Notices, which includes rectifying any underpayments in full, plus interest and superannuation.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Sydney on 26 November 2021.

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. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50. Small businesses can find targeted resources at the Small Business Showcase.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman @fairwork_gov_au  or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fairwork.gov.au