Hairdresser fined for short-paying

A TUGUN hairdressing salon owner was fined $8000 and ordered to repay an apprentice $3550 in wage arrears as part of a crackdown on employers by the Queensland Government.

Lisa Mary Dessman, owner of Tabu Hair at Tugun failed to appear in Southport Industrial Magistrates Court in May and was found guilty in her absence of three breaches of the Industrial Relations Act 1999.

Investigation by an industrial inspector found Ms Dessman had not paid the correct rate of pay or supplied tools of trade to an apprentice hairdresser she had employed in March last year. Ms Dessman also failed to produce time and wage records. .

No conviction was recorded by Industrial Magistrate Michael O'Driscoll, who ordered the employer to pay the employee $2018.38 in unpaid wages and $1414.34 in pro rata annual leave not paid when the apprentice was terminated.

Magistrate O'Driscoll also imposed three separate fines on Ms Dessman of $5000 for not paying correct wages; $1000 for not supplying tools of trade to an apprentice and $2000 for not keeping time and wage records.

The defendant was also ordered to pay $215.10 in court costs.

Regional manager for Industrial Relations with the Department of Justice and Attorney-General Tony Schostakowski, said Queensland's industrial laws would be enforced in court if breached.

“Workplace audits play an important role in helping to educate employers and employees about the current industrial laws, and nearly all cases are resolved through education and negotiation,” he said. “However, occasionally we have to prosecute to recover money owed to employees.”

Nearly $4 million in unpaid wages and entitlements were recovered across Queensland in 2008-09 through more than 3300 general compliance audits by investigators, with the investigations leading to 2759 wage complaints and 102 prosecutions.

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