Sunshine Coast business in court

25 May 2021

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action in the Federal Circuit Court against the operator of a combination fresh food retailer and café in Maroochydore, Queensland.

Facing court is BP Foods Pty Ltd, which operated Food Lovers Fresh at the Sunshine Coast Home Shopping Centre until the business ceased trading in March 2020.

FWO commenced an investigation after receiving a request for assistance from a worker who had been employed by BP Foods as a full-time chef from November 2019 to March 2020.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to the company in September 2020 after forming a belief the worker was not paid entitlements owed under the National Employment Standards at the end of her employment, being payment in lieu of notice of termination and accrued annual leave.

The FWO alleges the company, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice.

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.

“Compliance Notices are important tools used by inspectors to deal with apparent contraventions of the Fair Work Act or industrial instruments, most typically Modern Awards,” Ms Parker said.

“Where employers do not respond to or comply with these Notices, we will take appropriate enforcement action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties for not complying with such a Notice, in addition to back-paying workers as appropriate.”

“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 BP Foods Pty Ltd. The company faces a maximum penalty of $33,300 for allegedly failing to comply with the Compliance Notice.

The regulator is also seeking an order for the company to comply with the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying any underpayments in full, plus interest. A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane on 27 August 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. A free interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

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Media inquiries:

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

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