Café operator fined over record-keeping failures

3 September 2015

The former operator of an Alice Springs café has been fined for record-keeping failures discovered during a Fair Work Ombudsman campaign.

The Federal Circuit Court in Darwin has imposed a $1500 penalty against Christopher Brandso, who until June, operated the Red Dog Café in the Todd Mall in partnership with his wife.

Fair Work inspectors randomly audited the café last year as part of proactive efforts to ensure Alice Springs businesses are paying employees their full entitlements.

Legal action was initiated after Brandso ignored repeated requests from inspectors to provide employment records.

He then admitted his business had failed to keep any.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the penalty is a reminder to business owners that maintaining appropriate employment records is not optional.

“Failing to keep records is a serious matter because it increases the risk of staff underpayments occurring and hampers the ability of inspectors to determine if employees are being paid correctly,” she said.

Ms James says Brandso could have avoided legal action if he had engaged with Fair Work inspectors, but his lack of co-operation left the Agency with no option.

“We always prefer to resolve matters by agreement, but we are prepared to take legal action in situations where business operators simply refuse to deal with us,” she said.

In addition to the penalty, the Court ordered Brandso to complete the Hiring Employees course on the Online Learning Centre at www.fairwork.gov.au – and provide the Fair Work Ombudsman with evidence of having done so.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is working hard to build a culture of compliance with workplace laws in Australia by providing practical advice that is easy to access, understand and apply.

Employers and employees seeking assistance can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50. Small businesses calling the Infoline can opt to receive priority service.

Follow Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James on Twitter @NatJamesFWO external-icon.png, the Fair Work Ombudsman @fairwork_gov_au External link icon or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/fairwork.gov.au External link icon.

Sign up to receive the Fair Work Ombudsman’s media releases direct to your email inbox at www.fairwork.gov.au/mediareleases.

Media inquiries:

Ryan Pedler, Assistant Media Director
Mobile: 0411 430 902
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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