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Ombudsman hits agency with lengthy list of demands

Ombudsman hits agency with lengthy list of demands

by Reporter 0 comments

Steven Cross

The Fair Work Ombudsman has issued 22 demands via an 'Enforceable Undertaking' on a Victoria-based agency who underpaid an employee in 2011.

According to the Ombudsman, the unnamed agent was employed at McDonald Real Estate in Dandenong in 2011 where he was underpaid by more than $10,000 by his employer.

The investigation found that the salesman was initially unlawfully required to perform four weeks of unpaid work under a ‘training program’.

Over the next three months, he was paid $551 a week as an ‘advance against future commissions’, plus a car allowance of $115 a week.

However, the retainer was cancelled after about three months and the employee was paid only the $115 weekly car allowance for a month before his employment was then terminated, Fair Work said.

According to Fair Work, under the Real Estate Industry Award 2010, commission-only arrangements are applicable only when if it can be demonstrated that an employee has earned more than the minimum wage payable under the Award selling real estate in any 12-month period over the preceding five years. As the employee did not fit into this category, the employer should have paid wages of at least $557 a week throughout his employment.

As an alternative to litigation, the directors Mr and Mrs Wysham, and the Dandenong branch of McDonald Real Estate, have back-paid the employee $10,300 and entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The lengthy list has 22 provisions, which must be upheld by McDonald Real Estate or else risk litigation by the Ombudsman.

Some of the undertakings include:

  • Developing systems and processes to ensure ongoing compliance with the legislation they breached
  • Must place a branded public notice in “the Melbourne Weekly newspaper, the Dandenong Leader newspaper and the official McDonald Real Estate website
  • Must place an A3 poster of the public notice in all McDonald Real Estate Office’s for 28 days
  • Must submit to annual audits, with any further contraventions being dealt with in four weeks
  • All managerial and administration roles must undergo training from an independent workplace trainer annually (including those to be employed in the future)
  • Make two payments totalling $10,000 within 28 days to the Peninsula Community Legal Centre.

Mr and Mrs Wysham must also send an apology to the former employee, Fair Work said.

Ombudsman hits agency with lengthy list of demands
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