Medical centre caught trying to underpay staff

A VICTORIAN medical practice has been ordered to apologise and withdraw an employment agreement it offered to part-time employees, which included paying penalty rates on a rotational basis for working on public holidays.

The Fair Work Ombudsman took the action against the operators of the Anglesea Medical Centre, which had informed a part-time employee that it could pay her as it liked, because it was a small business with flexibility over how to reward staff.

The employee, a receptionist at the practice, was dismissed after challenging the employment agreement in June last year, which would also have seen her paid a casual loading at a rate of 25 cents per hour when a rate of 25% of the base rate of pay was payable.

Four days after having been informed she was to be dismissed from employment at the practice, the receptionist received a letter stating that her position had been terminated on the grounds that it was redundant.

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