Farzana* worked as a receptionist. She was a diligent, focused and polite employee. She enjoyed her work well enough, particularly the interactions with clients. There was only one problem: her boss never paid her on time.
Farzana didn’t worry. She concentrated on her reception duties, thinking that eventually he would pay. She didn’t want to be a nuisance. Farzana put up with this for some time, but then he stopped paying altogether.
She resigned after two months of no pay.
Farzana attempted to obtain her entitlements by navigating the Fair Work Ombudsman process. Several times it seemed she was successful and that she’d have her money soon: her employer kept promising they’d pay.
They never did.
“It seems like very little to most people, but I have no money … This money will make all the difference.”
With little money, no job and deeply concerned that she’d never be able to claim the wages she rightfully earned, Farzana turned to Justice Connect’s Self Representation Service.
The Service’s volunteer lawyer from Sparke Helmore Lawyers supported Farzana through the process, from letter of demand all the way to a default judgement for just less than $10,000.
The pro bono guidance she received has not only allowed her navigate the legal process and claim her wages, but has given her the confidence to deal with legal issues in the future. Following the result, Farzana is now considering enforcement proceedings.
She expressed her relief and gratitude to Justice Connect and Sparke Helmore:
“It seems like very little to most people,” she explained when she first contacted Justice Connect.
“But I have no money. I have been trying to find permanent work, but it is hard for me. My husband is studying and we have nothing really. This money will make all the difference.”
Joanna Mansfield of the Justice Connect Self Representation Service also had appreciation for the firm, “Sparke Helmore was instrumental in helping Farzana get a great result at her hearing.”
It is because of the commitment of firms like Sparke Helmore that Justice Connect can continue its work increasing access to justice for those experiencing disadvantage.