The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed a total of $21,890 in penalties against an eyebrow-shaping business in eastern Sydney for non-compliance of a backpayment order from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
The penalties consisted of a $20,000 penalty against Get Plucked Holdings Pty Ltd, the eyebrow-shaping business trading as Sharon Lee Inc. Eyebrow Atelier, and $1890 in penalties against Get Plucked Holdings’ sole director, Sharon Lee Hamilton-Clarke.
The penalties were imposed after Get Plucked Holdings failed to comply with two Compliance Notices, issued in 2019 and 2021 respectively, requiring it to calculate and back-pay entitlements to two workers. The FWO also noted that Hamilton-Clarke was involved in the failure to comply with the Compliance Notice issued in 2019.
A Fair Work Inspector first issued a Compliance Notice to Get Plucked Holdings in December 2019 after having found that it had underpaid a receptionist employed from August to September 2019, her minimum wages and annual leave entitlements, under the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010.
An Inspector issued a second Compliance Notice to Get Plucked Holdings in February 2021 after it was found that it underpaid a beauty therapist employed from September 2019 to March 2020, her minimum wages, annual leave entitlements and payment-in-lieu-of-notice-of-termination entitlements, under the same award.
Get Plucked Holdings back-paid the workers only after the FWO commenced legal action.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face penalties in court on top of having to back-pay workers.
“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Parker said.
Judge Sandy Street found that the failure to comply with the Compliance Notices was intentional and there was a need to impose penalties at the appropriate amount to deter similar conduct in future.
“The Court finds that there is the need in the present case for specific deterrence in respect of both respondents and that general deterrence is of particular importance in this hairdressing and beauty service industry,” Judge Street said.