Accountant Prosecuted For False-records Breaches Under Accessorial Liability Laws

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a Victorian massage parlour operator, alleging it underpaid a Chinese worker more than $13,000 and provided false records to inspectors.

Facing the Federal Circuit Court is Austop Natural Therapy and Supplies Pty Ltd, which operates a massage parlour trading as 'Yin's Chinese Massage' in Bacchus Marsh and formerly operated a massage parlour under the same trading name in Ballarat. The FWO is also taking action against company director Yusen Yin and company secretary Wenhua Liu, alleging they were involved in the underpayments.

In addition, the Fair Work Ombudsman is taking action against the accounting firm engaged by the company, Keith Golding & Associates Pty Ltd, alleging it was involved in the company's false-records breaches, under accessorial liability laws.

Between December 2016 and July 2017, Austop allegedly paid the employee a percentage of the total price of each massage she performed at its Ballarat business, rather than paying her an hourly rate of pay according to her entitlements under the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010.

This resulted in alleged underpayment of the employee's ordinary hourly rates, overtime rates, weekend and public holiday penalty rates, superannuation and annual leave entitlements. The company also allegedly failed to ensure she did not work on more than six consecutive days.