We received a notification from the Fair Work Ombudsman’s office pertaining to a penalty imposed on a member of our industry, which we have reported below. 

This is a very sad situation, as with the right support and advice this business could have avoided the stress and the financial losses.

One of APAN’s commitments as an industry standards body association is to protect our members by supporting them with appropriate advice and documents to ensure their legal and regulatory compliance. 

To achieve this APAN provides members with comprehensive consulting and legal services. 

We also have 48 resource documents that have been legally written to protect businesses and to provide them with peace of mind when it comes to standards and regulatory compliance.

In many instances, these cases result from a lack of sufficient knowledge that contributes to them not meeting the requirements of their obligations, rather than a deliberate attempt to be non-compliant.  However, the penalties still apply regardless of their good intentions.

The notion that “I don’t need protection, because I am doing everything right” does not guarantee that if a staff member with a different interpretation of their worth, rights and privileges will not pursue you legally. 

Even though you believe you have acted in line with what you understand is your obligation, you can still be taken to court where you will need to prove your compliance. 

This process is stressful and expensive.  Furthermore, despite your good intentions you may still be found non-compliant based on a potential small technicality that you missed. 

Is it worth the risk?

As a business owner who employs staff or contracts services, we have found that businesses who are seen to have an industry association and a legal firm backing them are less likely to be attached by a staff member. 

Over the years we have had numerous cases where we have prevented misunderstanding between a staff member and an employee as we have acted quickly to provide legal clarification and resolve a potential legal action. 

Membership to APAN will guarantee your protection.

To demonstrate what we mean, please review the report forwarded to us by the Fair Work Ombudsman below:

 The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a total of $29,970 in penalties in court against cosmetic injectables and a skin clinic in Sydney and its director.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court have imposed a $24,975 penalty against Rachael Louise Medispa Pty Ltd, which is based in Drummoyne, and a $4,995 penalty against the company’s sole director Rachael Louise Birch.

The penalties were imposed in response to Rachael Louise Medispa failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring the back-payment of entitlements to a worker employed at the clinic in the roles of the advanced cosmetic injector and head trainer of cosmetic injectables between 8 and 25 December 2020. Ms Birch was involved in the contravention.

The Court has also ordered Rachael Louise Medispa to comply with the Compliance Notice by back paying the worker in full.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face court-imposed penalties on top of having to back-pay workers.

“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”

The regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from the affected worker.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Rachael Louise Medispa in July 2021 after forming a belief that the worker had not been paid all wages owed on termination as required by the Nurses Award 2010.

Judge Nicholas Manousaridis found that the failure to comply with the Compliance Notice was deliberate and had denied the employee’s entitlement to approximately $3,048.50.

“The penalty should be set at a level that signals not only to employers in the beauty services industry but to all employers that a wilful disregard of a Compliance Notice issued under s 716(2) of the FW Act will be met with a significant penalty,” Judge Manousaridis said.

Employers and employees can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance about their rights and obligations in the workplace.

Additionally, APAN also provides FairWork, regulatory and legal support to members as part of their Gold or Corporate membership. 

Our legal strategic partner Pointon Partners Lawyers is well supported with over 40 staff and has always provided us with legal and regulatory advice to our queries in a quick and efficient manner, allowing us to provide accurate information to our members. 

If you are not a member this service alone will be extremely valuable to you.