Camera Store Fined $15,000 Over Pay Dispute

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A Perth Camera Shop who took two years to pay severance pay to a former employee has been fined $15,000.

Plaza Cameras Pty Ltd, which has a store in the Perth CBD, has been penalised $12,000 and company director Ashley George Heuchan, of Willeton, a further $3500.

Federal Magistrate Kenneth Raphael imposed the fines after Plaza Cameras and Heuchan admitted failing to pay a marketing manager $4792 (eight weeks severance pay) after making her position redundant.

The worker, who had been employed full-time by Plaza Cameras for more than four years, lodged a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

A prosecution against Plaza Cameras and Heuchan was launched in May this year after they repeatedly failed to fulfil promises to pay the worker her full entitlements. She was finally paid in full in July.

Federal Magistrate Raphael said he was not impressed by the length of time it had taken to pay the worker and that a penalty of “more than a slap on the wrist” was warranted.

Fair Work Ombudsman WA Director Leigh Quealy says the Agency takes its role of protecting and enforcing the rights of workers very seriously.

“Tough economic conditions represent challenging times for businesses but they are no excuse for failing to pay workers their full entitlements,” he said.

“Redundancy entitlements play a vital supporting role for people while they attempt to pick themselves up, find a new job and get back on their feet.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman promotes harmonious, productive and co-operative workplaces. It also monitors compliance and investigates breaches of national workplace laws.

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