Victorian retailer fined for underpaying staff

A Victorian retailer has been fined $30,000 for underpaying casual workers by disguising their employment as an independent contracting arrangement.

Kathryn Harvey trades as Barton Harvey, selling homewares, gifts, jewellery, fashion and accessories in her Richmond and Collingwood stores in Melbourne.

She was found to have underpaid two sales assistants by $8046 by claiming they were independent contractors instead of employees.

The Melbourne Magistrates Court ruled Harvey had deliberately ignored her obligations as an employer.

“The defendant was aware of the underpayments, had numerous opportunities to remedy them, but steadfastly maintained the claimants were independent contractors.

“The defendant demonstrated an unwillingness to acknowledge her obligations, has shown no contrition whatsoever and hasn’t cooperated with authorities,” said magistrate Kate Hawkins.

The case was initiated by the federal Workplace Ombudsman.

Inside Retailing

 

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