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The Fair Work Ombudsman has taken Nobrace Centre Pty Ltd and its former part-owner and operator, Dr Ari Masters, to the Federal Circuit Court following allegations of underpaying a 457 visa-holder.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is alleging that the Melbourne-based dental clinic paid the dental technician a flat rate of $15 per hour, ignoring various pay rates under the relevant Award. The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges the total underpayment is almost $37,000.

If found liable, Dr Masters faces a maximum penalty of $6,300 and Nobrace faces a maximum penalty of $31,500.

This is the second time the Fair Work Ombudsman has taken legal action against Nobrace and Dr Masters. In 2015, the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal action alleging a Korean dental technician also on a 457 visa at the same clinic was underpaid more that $66,000. That matter is still before the Federal Circuit Court.

Any finding by the Federal Circuit Court will be adverse information which can be relied on by the Department of Home Affairs to take action against the employer.

What does this mean for your business?

This is a timely reminder to employers that employees working on a visa have all the same workplace rights as any other employee and the Fair Work Ombudsman takes the matter of underpayment of employees seriously.

With the introduction of significantly higher penalties for a range of contraventions under the Fair Work Amendment Act 2017, it is crucial employers are fully aware of their responsibilities under both Workplace and Migration law.

If you require advice on employee workplace rights, please contact our Employment, Safety and Migration team.

This article was written by George Haros, Principal Lawyer – Employment, Safety and Migration

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FWO bares its teeth: large fines for underpayment of dental visa worker

25 June 2018
george haros

The Fair Work Ombudsman has taken Nobrace Centre Pty Ltd and its former part-owner and operator, Dr Ari Masters, to the Federal Circuit Court following allegations of underpaying a 457 visa-holder.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is alleging that the Melbourne-based dental clinic paid the dental technician a flat rate of $15 per hour, ignoring various pay rates under the relevant Award. The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges the total underpayment is almost $37,000.

If found liable, Dr Masters faces a maximum penalty of $6,300 and Nobrace faces a maximum penalty of $31,500.

This is the second time the Fair Work Ombudsman has taken legal action against Nobrace and Dr Masters. In 2015, the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal action alleging a Korean dental technician also on a 457 visa at the same clinic was underpaid more that $66,000. That matter is still before the Federal Circuit Court.

Any finding by the Federal Circuit Court will be adverse information which can be relied on by the Department of Home Affairs to take action against the employer.

What does this mean for your business?

This is a timely reminder to employers that employees working on a visa have all the same workplace rights as any other employee and the Fair Work Ombudsman takes the matter of underpayment of employees seriously.

With the introduction of significantly higher penalties for a range of contraventions under the Fair Work Amendment Act 2017, it is crucial employers are fully aware of their responsibilities under both Workplace and Migration law.

If you require advice on employee workplace rights, please contact our Employment, Safety and Migration team.

This article was written by George Haros, Principal Lawyer – Employment, Safety and Migration