DENTIST DRILLED FOR SHORT-CHANGING STUDENT
Written on the 1 December 2015
A MELBOURNE dentist is in hot water for allegedly underpaying an international student studying at the clinic tens of thousands of dollars.
Nobrace Dental Clinic recruited the student from South Korea on a 457 skilled worker visa based on a nominated annual salary of $50,000. Documents lodged with the Federal Circuit Court state the woman was paid a flat rate of $15 an hour instead.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal proceedings against the former clinic owners' Dr Ari Masters and wife Christine for short-changing the employee $66,945.
Under the Health Professionals and Support Services Award, the employee should have been paid between $16.90 and $18.93 during normal hours, and up to $37.85 an hour for overtime.
Fair Work inspectors discovered tax deductions were based on the nominated salary rather than actual pay between April 2011 and February 2014, along with falsified time records and breaches with leave entitlements.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the agency decided to commence legal action due to the serious nature of the alleged breaches.
Dr Masters and Mrs Masters face maximum penalties of up to $10,200 per contravention and their company up to $51,000 per contravention.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is seeking a Court Order for full back-payment of the employee and an injunction preventing the couple from underpaying health industry workers in future.
Nobrace Centre Pty Ltd has sold the Nobrace Centre dental clinic in the Melbourne CBD and the current owners are not involved with the proceedings.