The owner of Video Dogs in Carlton, John Mallalieu, has been forced to admit he has in fact paid workers with DVD hire instead of wages.
After telling the media that “No one had been hired under the DVDs-for-work scheme” the Workplace Ombudsman has revealed that several other workers have not been paid in the past. Mallalieu has now paid these workers up to $100 for two hours work in an attempt to resolve the issue.
The Workplace ombudsman has now interviewed Mallalieu and retrieved the past six month’s employment records. They have found that on top of the DVD-for-work scam, Mallalieu has also underpaid some of his other workers by not paying proper weekend penalty rates. This is also now being rectified.
The Ombudsman is now endeavouring to contact all past employees of Video Dogs to ensure they have all been paid properly.
Despite the fact that Mallalieu has broken many laws it is highly unlikely that he will face fines or any other punishment. It is common practice that if an employer cooperates with the Ombudsman, and fixes the problem quickly, they can escape penalties. In other words ignorance is a legitimate defence for dodgy bosses!
Unfortunately this means that there is no incentive for other bosses to do the right thing. Once again this shows that young workers need to do more than just rely on the Workplace Ombudsman if they want to protect their rights at work. The only solution is to build a fighting union in fast food and retail where the majority of young people work.