Hair & Beauty Campaign Recoups $140,000 For 223 Salon Staff

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13th January 2010, 02:00pm - Views: 719

People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 1 image

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Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 

Media Release

    13 Jan 2010

Hair and Beauty campaign recoups $140,000 for

223 salon staff 

Two hundred and twenty three hairdressing and beauty salon employees

throughout Australia are to be reimbursed a total of $140,000 after investigations

by the Fair Work Ombudsman found they were underpaid.

Fair Work inspectors have randomly scrutinised the books of 330 hair and beauty

salons in all states and territories as part of an Australia-wide campaign.

Apart from the underpayments, the campaign identified:

Some workers being paid in foreign currency,

Unlawful deductions being made from workers’ pay packets for purchases

of hair and beauty products,

Apprentices being sacked on the basis of a downturn in work, 

Some businesses relying on salon appointment books as employment

records for staff, and

Non-payment of correct shift, weekend and public holiday rates.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the industry was targeted

because of the large number of complaints it was generating.

Three salons alone were found to have underpaid 11 staff more than $86,000.

“We are mindful that this is an industry which employs large numbers of young

females and a significant number of apprentices,” she said.

In the latest campaign, inspectors found 130 of the 330 employers audited to be

non-compliant. Of these, 78 had minor breaches relating to payslips and time-

and-wages records and 52 recorded monetary contraventions.

The campaign will recoup:

$55,000 for 106 workers in Queensland,

$31,000 for 29 workers in NSW and the ACT,

$23,000 for 20 workers in Victoria,

$14,500 for 26 workers in SA,

$7000 for 21 workers in the NT,

$7000 for 15 workers in Tasmania, and 

$2000 for six workers in WA. 



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People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 3 image

Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 


Ms James says her Agency wrote to more than 2000 employers nationally to alert

them to the campaign and provide information about resources available to assist

them to comply with workplace laws.  

Those randomly selected for audit were asked to provide time and wage records

and other information for a specified two-week period, including a public holiday,

so inspectors could assess whether or not they were compliant.

“If we found a minor contravention that did not disadvantage an employee, then

we asked the employer to complete a compliance commitment form and to

voluntarily rectify the issue,” Ms James said.

“Where we found a more serious breach, we asked the employer to undertake an

audit of all employees and to rectify any underpayments.

“In some cases, if employers were not willing to voluntarily resolve the issue or if

the contravention was blatant, we have escalated the audit to full investigation.”

Ms James said 32 employers nationally remained under investigation and did not

rule out the possibility of legal action in some cases.

She said the campaign findings highlighted the need for the Fair Work

Ombudsman to continue to provide education and advice to the hair and beauty

industry and to monitor and enforce compliance.

In 2008, a State-wide campaign targeting the hair and beauty sector in Western

Australia recouped $40,000 in underpayments for 34 salon employees.

And in July last year, a campaign focused on the hair and beauty industry in

Victoria’s Gippsland region recovered $7300 for 11 staff. Eighty per cent of 56

businesses selected passed the audit checks. Gippsland was not part of the latest


Employers or employees seeking assistance should contact the Fair Work Infoline

on 13 13 94 or visit

Media inquiries: 

Craig Bildstien, Director Media & Stakeholder Relations  0419 818 484 Email:

Ryan Pedler: Mob: 0434 365 924; Email:

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