The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against Melbourne-based retailer Baby & Kids Pty Ltd. 

The business, which operates a Baby Direct store in Dandenong as well as an eCommerce website, will face court alongside the company's sole director Qiyun Wang.

The company formerly operated stores in Ringwood and Hoppers Crossing and was previously registered as Baby Direct Hoppers Crossing Pty Ltd.

The regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from a worker who was employed by the company in a full-time e-commerce role in January-October 2022.

The worker’s duties included processing online orders and customer service for Baby Direct’s online shop. She was based at the Hoppers Crossing store before working-from-home full time.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Baby & Kids Pty Ltd in March 2023 after forming a belief the worker was owed entitlements under the General Retail Industry Award 2020 and the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.

The inspector formed a belief that the company did not pay the worker any wages for her final two weeks of work and failed to pay her accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements at the end of her employment.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Baby & Kids Pty Ltd, without a reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required it to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements. It is alleged that the amount the employer was required to pay under the Compliance Notice was $4,374, plus superannuation.

Fair Work Ombudsman Anna Booth said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.

“Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties and make payments to workers,” Booth said.

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance.”

The FWO is seeking penalties in court for the alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notice. Baby & Kids Pty Ltd faces a penalty of up to $41,250 and Mr Wang faces a penalty of up to $8,250.

The regulator is also seeking an order for the company to pay the alleged amount owing to the employee, plus superannuation and interest.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Melbourne on August 6, 2024.

comments powered by Disqus