Court date for former cleaning business over alleged underpayments

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A former operator of a commercial cleaning business in western Sydney is set to face court for alleged underpayments. According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, sole trader Mohamed Musa Jalloh, who operated the now-closed Honourable Cleaning, was found to have underpaid two international students, a married couple from Nepal who were employed on a casual basis as cleaners between August and October 2020.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Jalloh in January 2021 after having determined that the workers were underpaid casual minimum wages, including casual loading, under the Cleaning Services Award 2020. However, Jalloh reportedly failed to fully comply with the Compliance Notice, which required him to calculate and back-pay the workers’ entitlements in full.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker 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,” Parker said. “A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”

Jalloh faces a penalty of up to $6660 for allegedly failing to comply with the Compliance Notice. The FWO is also seeking an order for him to comply with the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying the alleged underpayment amount in full, plus superannuation and interest.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Sydney on 30 June 2022.