Melbourne fertility clinic owner accused of withholding parental pay by Fair Work Ombudsman

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Natalie Jade Kringoudis is the sole-director and owner of the Pagoda Tree (Vic) Pty Ltd, which operates The Pagoda Tree clinic in Albert Park.

Ms Kringoudis has been accused of withholding thousands of dollars in government-funded parental leave payments from one of its staff and has been temporarily banned from practicing, ABC News reports.

The affected worker was employed as a Chinese medicine practitioner at the clinic when she took parental leave in 2018, the ombudsman said.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Ms Kringoudis withheld more than half of the $12,948 owed in parental leave payments, and underpaid the employee by more than $10,000 in annual leave and other entitlements.

The Pagoda Tree employee who was allegedly underpaid was employed as a Chinese medicine practitioner. Photo:ABC News

The Pagoda Tree promotes itself as a boutique natural fertility clinic, offering fertility and pregnancy treatments using traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture.

Ms Kringoudis, a published author and self-proclaimed “fertility expert”, has also been banned from practicing temporarily while under investigation by the Health Complaints Commissioner, which has issued an interim prohibition order.

“It is necessary to make this order to avoid a serious risk to the health, safety or welfare of the public,” the order states.

Under the order, Ms Kringoudis is prevented from advertising, offering or providing any health services which involve Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, or the treatment of mental health disorders or emotional disorders.

Pagoda Tree owner Natalie Kringoudis allegedly underpaid an employee and withheld parental leave payments. Photo: ABC News

According to its website, The Pagoda Tree is open for acupuncture, natural fertility, traditional Chinese Medicine and Women’s Health services.

“You will receive a post treatment letter, where we will outline specific diet and lifestyle advice to ensure you can start to support your own unique self outside of our four walls,” its website reads.

“Because it takes two to make a baby, we offer an initial couples consultation where we will sit and discuss both you and your partner’s health and health goals and form a treatment plan for you both.”

Sourced By: ABC News

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