The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a daycare centre in Newcastle.
Facing court is The Little Unicorn on Honeysuckle Pty Ltd, which is located in the Honeysuckle precinct in inner-Newcastle.
The regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from a casual childcare worker employed by the company between June 2021 and May 2022, alleging that she hadn’t been paid for her final shifts in the two-week period before her employment ended.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to The Little Unicorn on Honeysuckle in December 2022 after forming a belief it had underpaid the worker’s minimum entitlements, under the Children’s Services Award 2010.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges the company, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required it to calculate and back-pay the amounts owing to the worker.
Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Mark Scully said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses 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,” Mr Scully said.
“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance.”
The FWO is seeking a penalty for the alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notice. The Little Unicorn on Honeysuckle faces a penalty of up to $41,250.
The regulator is also seeking orders for the company to rectify the alleged underpayment in full, plus interest and superannuation.
The first case management hearing is listed before the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Sydney on 7 September 2023.