Natalie Kringoudis fined almost $70,000 for withholding parental leave entitlements

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Melbourne fertility clinic operator, Natalie Kringoudis, has been fined almost $70,000 for withholding thousands of dollars in parental leave entitlements from an employee, ABC News reports.

Ms Kringoudis, who is the sole-director of the Pagoda Tree Clinic in Victoria’s Albert Park, was taken to court by the Fair Work Ombudsman after complaints from an employee to the Department of Human Services.

The affected employee worked as a Chinese Medicine Practitioner at the clinic when she took parental leave in 2018 to have her first child.

According to the National Tribune, she was owed $12,948 in government-funded parental leave payments but was paid less than half of that. 

The Federal Circuit and Family Court found the Pagoda Tree withheld more than $7,000 in parental leave payments, as well as more than $10,000 in annual leave entitlements.

Kringoudis is the sole-director of the Pagoda Tree Clinic in Victoria’s Albert Park.

The Pagoda Tree had received the parental leave funds from the federal Department of Human Services but failed to pay Sarah, the court found.

The outstanding payments were instead transferred to the personal bank accounts of Ms Kringoudis and used to pay for living expenses, including restaurant meals, alcohol and travel.

Following this outcome, the affected employee told ABC News she was surprised to learn that the payments had been intentionally withheld.

“I never expected anything like this to happen. It was very hard financially, it was very hard emotionally,” she said.

Ms Kringoudis was personally fined $10,962, while the company was fined $58,590 for contraventions of the Fair Work Act.

Source: ABC News.

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