$398,520 in penalties against a Melbourne CBD travel agency and one of its directors for underpaying workers

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a total of $398,520 in penalties against a Melbourne CBD travel agency and one of its directors for underpaying two workers.

Abella Travel Pty Ltd, which operated travel agencies in both Melbourne and Korea, had previously pledged to comply with workplace laws under a Court-Enforceable Undertaking.

The Federal Circuit Court penalised the company $332,100 and director Mr Joung Hyung Lee has been penalised a further $66,420 after admitting to breaching workplace laws by requiring a migrant worker to pay back over $20,000 of her wages between 2013 and 2015.

The company and Mr Lee also proposed a similar cashback scheme with a second migrant worker, provided false records and failed to pay one of the employees the applicable wage, penalty and overtime rates and leave entitlements. The two workers, both Korean nationals, were underpaid a total of $37,464.29, which has now been rectified.

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