Sydney-based point-of-sale software and equipment resellers POSnet and ECNEsoft have been ordered to pay back unpaid wages to underpaid staff.
The two companies paid back $34,429 in wages to two employees on visas through a court-enforceable undertaking commenced by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman's investigation found that the employees were paid “unlawfully low” flat rates between $6 and $24 an hour when they were employed from July 2016 to October 2017.
“We have no tolerance for employers who think they can pay unlawfully low flat rates of pay to migrant workers,” Ombudsman Sandra Parker said.
“A court-enforceable undertaking means that a company will not only have to pay back the money that is owed to their employees, but will also face ongoing close scrutiny by the FWO.”
The POSnet employee who was working in Australia on a 417 working holiday visa was underpaid $13,356. FWO's findings revealed the worker was employed as an intern for the first five months and was paid hourly rates between $6 and $11.
The ECNEsoft employee on a 485 temporary graduate visa meanwhile was underpaid $21,072.
“Australia’s lawful rates of pay do not change because of visa status and any workers with concerns should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman,” Parker said.
As part of the undertaking, the two companies are required to conduct external audits of their employees' pay and conditions, once in 2019 and again in 2020. They will also pay $5000 to the government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund.
The companies’ director Bum Soo Lee is also required to check the pay and conditions of all workers in the nine other companies he directs, where any underpayments should be rectified and reported to the FWO.