A Melbourne company and its director have been fined a total of $47,608 for ignoring a Fair Work Commission Order to pay $2,200 compensation to a young employee who had been unfairly dismissed.
In January 2014, the Fair Work Commission found that Samaka Sophia Ndege had been unfairly dismissed from her receptionist role at World Gym Sunshine and ordered the company to pay $2,200 in compensation within 14 days.
The company failed to make the payment and Ms Ndege contacted the Fair Work Ombudsman for assistance to enforce the order. After failing to respond to repetitive notices, the Fair Work Ombudsman initiated legal proceedings against the employer in the Federal Circuit Court.
Handing down his decision, Judge John O’Sullivan described the case as “a very serious matter” and noted that “this was a small business however that is no excuse”. Judge O’Sullivan also said the penalty imposed should create a “significant measure of general deterrence so that others understand the need to accept the umpire’s decision and comply with Orders of the Fair Work Commission”.