A door-to-door marketing business based in Melbourne will face court for a second time for allegedly underpaying employees.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges the Syndicate Group and its owner Claudio Locaso breached workplace laws by failing to comply with demands to back-pay $9622 to four door-to-door employees who were underpaid in 2013.
In that same year, the workplace watchdog brought legal action against the Syndicate Group for allegedly underpaying another 12 workers $35,408. The matter is still before the court.
The workers were employed to install power boards in homes as part of the Victorian government’s Victorian Energy Efficiency Target Scheme. Some employees were paid nothing at all for three weeks’ work.
Locaso faces maximum penalties of $5100 per breach and his company faces maximum penalties of $25,500 per breach.
Christmas retail figures worse than expected
Australians spent less than expected in the lead up to Christmas, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The ABS’s Retail Trade figures show Australian retail turnover rose just 0.2% in December, following a rise of 0.1% in November and a rise of 0.4% in October 2014, when seasonally adjusted.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected retail sales to lift by 0.3% in December, according to Business Spectator.
The largest contributor to the rise was clothing, footwear and personal accessory retailing (2.7%), while food retailing (0.3%) was the only other industry to rise in December, when seasonally adjusted.
Shares down on open
Aussies shares have had a volatile start to today’s trading session, despite small gains on Wall Street overnight.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was down 2 points to 5775.3 points at 11.47am AEDT. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed 6.62 points higher, up 0.04% to 17673 points.