Roxy Jacenko has ‘65,000 reasons’ to comply with Covid restrictions as her businesses hemorrhage money during lockdown – so she is astonished that somebody seems intent on trying to dob her in to police.
The Sweaty Betty PR guru is at her wits’ end after she received a letter in the mail from SafeWork on Tuesday informing her that she was being investigated for allegedly putting her staff at risk.
In the warning letter, she was informed that a complaint has been made suggesting ‘workers or others may be at risk’ and that an investigation was taking place into alleged ‘inadequate controls from biological hazards’.
This is despite accommodating two earlier visits from her local police who were sent out to inspect the conditions in her office following complaints from an unknown source.
Jacenko is losing an estimated $65,000 every week that the city stays in lockdown, and says that she, like any other small business owner with their head screwed on, is doing everything she can to comply so Sydney recovers as soon as possible.
Roxy Jacenko is at her wits’ end as she tries to keep her small business afloat during Sydney’s Covid lockdown after receiving a letter from SafeWork questioning whether she is putting her staff at risk
She already had most of her 30-strong team working remotely when Premier Gladys Berejiklian told Sydneysiders to stay home unless absolutely necessary.
Ms Berejiklian said the current Covid threat is the most significant Sydney has ever faced, and, as a result, Jacenko sent the rest of her non-essential staff packing.
On any given day, Jacenko has no more than four staff in her office. They work reduced hours and perform essential duties like packing and shipping orders, which simply can’t be done from home.
Official government signs directing staff to wear face masks and maintain social distancing are scattered throughout the office, and there are several unoccupied desks in between every employee to ensure compliance.
Jacenko told Daily Mail Australia that the officers who visited noted her exemplary compliance.
Jacenko has no more than four staff in her office at any given time – and all are required for essential packing and shipping work. Pictured: Jacenko with some of her staff more than two weeks ago, already wearing masks in the office
And yet on Tuesday she received a letter urging her to ‘conduct an assessment of the issues raised to determine whether you are meeting your work health and safety obligations’.
The SafeWork inquiry determined an inspector would not be required to visit the office, but Jacenko was warned she could face further investigations in the future.
The mother-of-two is questioning whether the complaint was made internally, but says it’s more than likely come from an outsider with a vendetta.
‘I’m not a fool, I realise I’m polarising. But tall poppy syndrome is rife and people in this beautiful country cannot cope with others who want to make a real go of things. There are always people wanting to tear me down,’ Jacenko said.
The Sweaty Betty PR guru was sent a letter on Tuesday which informed her that an investigation was taking place into alleged ‘inadequate controls from biological hazards’
After spending 16 years cultivating a dream team, the PR guru would like to think that nobody within her fold would be making false reports
After spending 16 years cultivating a dream team, the PR guru would like to think that nobody within her fold would be making false reports.
‘There are people in this street that call the police if I’m even hosing down my car… Whoever it is, they need to realise they’re wasting precious resources.’
Jacenko pointed out that police making repeated trips to her office only to find a completely compliant business are the same officers who then miss someone down the road being robbed, or a domestic violence event unfolding down the street.
But, she said on her Instagram post detailing the ordeal, that she is still considering all avenues of who could be behind the targeted attacks.
Jacenko told Daily Mail Australia that the officers who visited noted her exemplary compliance
‘I wonder if I stopped paying the wages of these imbeciles who are making these reports of me apparently flouting the rules they might change their tune,’ she said.
Jacenko told Daily Mail Australia that she, like all small business owners, is counting down the days until Sydney can return to normal.
Her offshoot business, Pixie’s Fidgets, is hemorrhaging an estimated $65,000-a-week after closing six stores when lockdown was announced.
‘The financial burden is absolutely huge. I’m all for this. I’m wearing my mask, I’m following the rules. The sooner we follow the rules and it all stops the better for everyone.’
Jacenko has had her office deep cleaned and says she has one message for whoever is making false complaints when asked on Tuesday: ‘Stop wasting resources’
The pressures of lockdown and additional scrutiny from authorities has Jacenko even questioning whether running a business is worth it.
‘There’s only so much you can put up with as a business owner. We’re trying to make a go of it and we’re still getting bashed from left and right.’
She had one message for whoever is making false complaints when asked on Tuesday: ‘Stop wasting resources.
‘Put your personal issues to the side and stop this. I’m just trying to keep afloat.’
Jacenko told Daily Mail Australia that she, like all small business owners, is counting down the days until Sydney can return to normal