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FWO acts against Sydney businesses for staff pay shortfalls


Five workers were allegedly underpaid and the company owners face thousands in fines.

By Josh Needs3 minute read

The Fair Work Ombudsman has begun legal action in the Federal Circuit Court against two businesses for underpaying workers and in one case not paying employees at all.


The FWO began investigating sole trader Mohamed Musa Jalloh, who operated the now-defunct business Honourable Cleaning in Auburn, NSW, after a request for assistance from two international students.

The two, a married couple from Nepal, worked for Mr Jalloh on a casual basis between August and October 2020.

An inspector believed the workers were underpaid casual minimum wages under the Cleaning Services Award 2020 and issued a compliance notice to Mr Jalloh in January 2021.

The notice required Mr Jalloh to calculate and back pay the workers’ entitlements in full and the FWO alleges that he failed to comply.

The regulator seeks penalties of up to $6,660 against Mr Jalloh for the alleged offence.

It also seeks an order for Mr Jalloh to rectify the underpayments in full, plus interest and superannuation.

The second case involves the Lodge MGL Pty Ltd, which trades as Write Coffee Reserve in South Sydney.

The FWO began an investigation against the café after receiving requests for assistance from three workers.

The workers, one 17-year-old, one Nepalese worker on a student visa and an adult, alleged they were not paid any wages for the various periods of work they performed between December 2020 and April 2021.

The inspector formed the belief that the workers were entitled to be paid the minimum wage, casual loading and public holiday penalties under the Restaurant Industry Award 2020 for the work they performed. 

The FWO issued a compliance notice to the Lodge MGL Pty Ltd in August 2021.

The FWO alleges the business failed, without reasonable excuse, to obey the compliance notice, which required the calculation and back payment of the workers’ outstanding entitlements.

The regulator seeks a penalty of up to $33,300 against the Lodge MGL Pty Ltd for allegedly failing to obey the compliance notice.

The FWO is also seeking a court order for the company to comply with the notice, including rectifying any underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said it would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests were not complied with.

“Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers,” Ms Parker said.

FWO acts against Sydney businesses for staff pay shortfalls
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Josh Needs

Josh Needs


Josh Needs is a journalist at Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, which are the leading sources of news, strategy, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Josh studied journalism at the University of NSW and previously wrote news, feature articles and video reviews for Unsealed 4x4, a specialist offroad motoring website. Since joining the Momentum Media Team in 2022, Josh has written for Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser.

You can email Josh on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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