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A massage parlour in Canberra recently faced significant penalties amounting to nearly $1 million for the exploitation of Filipino workers. The workers, seven in total, were found to have been underpaid a total of $971,092 during the period between June 2012 and February 2016. The exploitation included coercion, threats against their families, and discrimination by the employer Colin Kenneth Elvin and the director of Foot & Thai Massage in Canberra.

The workers, who were hired on sponsored work visas between 2012 and 2013, were asked to work long hours – from 9.45 am to 10 pm or 10.30 pm six days a week. Additionally, they were regularly underpaid and coerced into repaying portions of their wages to the employer when the business faced financial struggles.

The Fair Work Ombudsman intervened in the case, resulting in the workers being awarded $1.166 million in back-pay and compensation. The penalties imposed on the parlour, Mr. Elvin, and a former supervisor totaled $966,890, making it one of the largest sums ever handed down by the Fair Work Ombudsman. This case highlights the importance of protecting vulnerable migrant workers and enforcing workplace rights to prevent exploitation and mistreatment in Australian society.


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Article Title: Canberra massage parlour fined more than $2m for exploitation, death threats
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