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Pharmacists accused of underpaying worker

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Pharmacists accused of underpaying worker

Three Sydney pharmacists face legal action following allegations they underpaid a staff member more than $62,000 over a four-year period.

The Fair Work Ombudsman said the man, an Egyptian migrant, was delivering medicines to customers in Sydney for the Save and Deliver pharmacy chain.

Between September 2009 and June 2013, the employee was allegedly paid a flat hourly rate of between $12 and $14, when he should have received between $16 and $30, depending on the time of his shifts.

It is alleged that the employee was underpaid by a total of $62,010.

As he spoke little English, the Fair Work Ombudsman said the man was a vulnerable employee, and that the Agency would take legal action on his behalf against the three pharmacy operators.

A second employee was allegedly underpaid $5296 while working in customer service at Shellharbour.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said the Agency had previously received three requests in the past from Save and Deliver employees seeking assistance, and two were subsequently back-paid outstanding entitlements.

Ms James also said that the business allegedly continued to breach employee rights after having been advised of the need to comply with its workplace obligations.

The pharmacy operators face maximum penalties of up to $10,200 per breach. In addition, the Fair Work Ombudsman is seeking a court order for the workers to be back-paid in full.

The case follows an audit conducted by the Fair Work Ombudsman last year, after pharmacies were identified as a “persistent source of complaints”.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court, Sydney, on 13 February.


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