Smartphone Retailer Nobbled For Underpaying Staff

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The operator of a mobile phone retailer is facing Court action for allegedly underpaying an overseas worker in Melbourne more than $4000.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is taking legal action against Melbourne man Kam Man Yau and his company Phone Collection Pty Ltd.

Phone Collection operates mobile phone kiosks selling phone accessories and providing minor phone repairs in shopping malls in Victoria and South Australia.

It is alleged that an employee at a kiosk at the Bayside Shopping Centre in Frankston was underpaid $4029 between April and September, 2014.

The employee, who was in Australia on a 485 Temporary Graduate Visa and aged in his mid-20s, was allegedly paid an average of $13.16 an hour.

However, under the General Retail Industry Award, the employee was entitled to receive between $17.98 and $18.52 for ordinary hours, more than $20 an hour for evening work and more than $37 an hour for Sunday and public holiday work.  

It is alleged that superannuation and leave entitlements were also underpaid and that record-keeping and pay-slip laws were breached.

The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated after the employee contacted the Agency for assistance and Phone Collection subsequently back-paid the employee in full.

However, Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says a decision was made to commence legal action in the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne because Mr Yau has previously been put on notice of the need to pay minimum lawful entitlements.

Phone Collection faces maximum penalties of up to $51,000 per contravention and Mr Yau faces penalties of up to $10,200 per contravention.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking an injunction restraining Mr Yau from underpaying workers in the retail industry in future.

Employers and employees seeking assistance can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.
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