Perth café faces court over failure to keep employment records for workers

11 July 2010

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched a prosecution against the connections of a former Perth café, alleging they failed to keep proper employment records for three workers who were allegedly underpaid.

The three male employees worked at the Jacaranda Deli and Café in High Wycombe. The café no longer operates.

Facing court is Orwill Pty Ltd, which leased the café and sponsored the Chinese men to come to Australia on 457 visas to work as cooks.

Also facing court is Orwill director and part-owner Irwan Lewis Farkas, of Tennant Creek; Total Trades Personnel Australia Pty Ltd, which operated the café; and Total Trades Personnel Australia director Siaw Kin Yeow, now of Singapore, who managed the café.

The Fair Work Ombudsman started investigating the café after receiving a complaint from a migrant advocate that the Chinese workers were being underpaid and required to work excessive hours that were not being recorded.

Documents lodged in the Federal Magistrates Court in Perth allege that Orwill breached workplace laws by failing to keep proper employment records for the workers.

Further, it is alleged Mr Farkas, Mr Yeow and Total Trades Personnel Australia were involved in the contraventions.

It is alleged that basic records such as time-and-wages sheets and records relating to the status of their employment were not maintained and payslips were not issued to the employees. 

Fair Work Ombudsman WA Director Leigh Quealy says the alleged breaches are serious because they have prevented inspectors from ascertaining whether the workers were underpaid.

Orwill, Total Trades Personnel Australia, Mr Farkas and Mr Yeow allegedly committed multiple breaches of workplace laws. The maximum penalties per breach are $5500 for the companies and $1100 for Mr Farkas and Mr Yeow.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has a number of tools on its website - www.fwo.gov.au - to assist employers to keep proper records, including templates for time-and-wages sheets and pay slips. Employers or employees seeking assistance or further information can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays. For translations, call 13 14 50.

Media inquiries:

Craig Bildstien, Director, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
0419 818 484
craig.bildstien@fwo.gov.au

Richard Honey, Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations,
(03) 9954 2716, 0457 924 146
richard.honey@fwo.gov.au

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