Fair Work Ombudsman commences legal action against Gold Coast ECEC service

Fair Work Ombudsman commences legal action against Gold Coast ECEC service

by Freya Lucas

September 14, 2021

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal proceedings against the former operator of a Gold Coast early childcare education and care (ECEC) service after receiving requests for assistance from workers who were employed at the centre when it closed in 2020.


A Fair Work Inspector issued Compliance Notices to the service in February and March 2021 after forming a belief 37 workers had not been paid redundancy entitlements owed under the National Employment Standards


The Ombudsman has further alleged that one of the employees, aged 49 at the time the service closed, was not paid the additional week of pay-in-lieu-of-notice-of-termination as she was entitled to as an employee aged over 45 with five years of service.


The service owners are now facing allegations that they failed to comply with the Compliance Notices without a reasonable excuse, which required them to calculate and back-pay outstanding worker entitlements, now facing a maximum penalty of up to $33,300 for each alleged contravention of Compliance Notices. 


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


Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said any employees with similar concerns about pay and entitlements should contact the Ombudsman for free assistance, warning employers that the regulator will continue to enforce workplace laws, taking businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with. 


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.


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