Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Cleaning contractor under fire

A contract cleaning operator in Melbourne is facing the Federal Circuit Court for allegedly exploiting three overseas workers, despite having been put on notice to pay employees’ lawful minimum entitlements.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against David Leslie Hinchliffe and his company Davdot Pty Ltd, which trades as Davdot Facility Services.

It is alleged Mr Hinchliffe and his company underpaid three casual cleaning employees – all overseas workers – a total of $10,428 between October 2015 and August 2016.

Davdot employed the workers on a casual basis to perform cleaning duties for its clients. Fair Work Ombudsman inspectors investigated after the workers lodged requests for assistance.

Most of the alleged underpayment relates to a South Korean worker allegedly short-changed $8294 for work performed at a serviced apartments complex. The worker was in Australia on a subclass 801 partner visa and he required an interpreter when speaking with inspectors.

Another of the workers – an international student aged in her early 20s – was allegedly underpaid $1838 for work at a suburban hotel. The third worker was allegedly underpaid $296 for work she performed at another suburban hotel.

The workers were allegedly variously underpaid entitlements including minimum rates for ordinary hours, casual loadings, overtime, minimum engagement pay and penalty rates for weekend and public holiday work.

Laws relating to frequency-of-pay, record-keeping and pay slips were allegedly also breached.

It will be alleged that the underpayments occurred despite the Fair Work Ombudsman having previously conducted investigations relating to alleged underpayments involving Mr Hinchliffe and his company.

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