Former cafe operator penalised
19 August 2021
The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured $13,986 in penalties in court against the former operator of a Sydney café.
The Federal Circuit Court has imposed a $9,990 penalty against JOR Trading Pty Ltd, which formerly operated ‘A Little More Café’ in Randwick, and a $3,996 penalty against the company’s sole director James O’Rourke.
The penalties were imposed in response to JOR Trading breaching the Fair Work Act by failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring the company to back-pay a worker. Mr O’Rourke was involved in the breach.
JOR Trading back-paid the worker only after the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal action.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce laws in a proportionate manner during the COVID-19 pandemic and business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face court-imposed penalties on top of having to back-pay workers.
“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.
“Employers also need to be aware that taking action to improve compliance in the fast food, restaurant and café sector continues to be a priority for the FWO. Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”
The affected worker was employed on a casual basis as a food and beverage attendant at ‘A Little More Café’ from May 2019 to March 2020.
The regulator commenced its investigation after the worker lodged a request for assistance.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to JOR Trading Pty Ltd in September 2020 after forming a belief the company had underpaid the worker’s casual minimum wage rates and weekend penalty rates under the Restaurant Industry Award 2010.
The Notice required the company to calculate and back-pay the worker’s outstanding entitlements.
Employers and employees can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance about their rights and obligations in the workplace. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.
Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman @fairwork_gov_au or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/fairwork.gov.au .
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Claire Low, Senior Media Adviser
Mobile: 0418 825 074
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