Former IGA franchisee in Perth faces court

12 January 2021

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action in the Federal Circuit Court against the former operators of an IGA supermarket in Perth.

Facing court is S & L Lenz Pty Ltd, which was formerly the franchisee of the IGA supermarket in Byford.

The regulator commenced its investigation after receiving requests for assistance from an employee who was employed on a full-time basis as a manager at the supermarket between April 2013 and January 2020.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to S & L Lenz Pty Ltd in August 2020 after forming a belief the employee had not been paid the accrued annual leave entitlements and pay in lieu of notice she was entitled to under the National Employment Standards when her employment ended.

The FWO alleges the company, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice which required it to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements.

In line with the FWO’s proportionate approach to regulation during the COVID-19 pandemic, the FWO made several attempts to secure voluntary compliance before commencing legal action.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.

“Under the Fair Work Act, Compliance Notices are important tools used by inspectors if they form a belief that an employer has breached workplace laws,” Ms Parker said.

“Where employers do not comply with our requests, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance.”

The FWO is seeking a penalty against S & L Lenz Pty Ltd. The company faces a maximum penalty of $33,300.

The regulator is also seeking a court order for the company to take the action required by the Compliance Notice, which includes calculating and rectifying any underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.

A directions hearing has been listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Perth on 28 January 2021.

Employers and employees can visit or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance about their rights and obligations in the workplace.

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Media inquiries:

Ryan Pedler, Assistant Director - Media
Mobile: 0411 430 902

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