Alice Springs café operators face court for alleged record-keeping failures

26 May 2015

The operators of an Alice Springs café are facing Court after a Fair Work Ombudsman campaign allegedly uncovered blatant record-keeping failures.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the partnership business of Christopher and Elsie Brandso, who operate the Red Dog Café in the Todd Mall.

Fair Work inspectors randomly audited the Red Dog café last year during a campaign aimed at ensuring Alice Springs businesses were paying employees their full entitlements.

The Brandsos allegedly ignored repeated requests from inspectors to provide employment records, before finally admitting they had failed to keep any.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says 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.

The Brandsos face a penalty of up to $5100.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking Court Orders requiring the Brandsos to use the free resources available at to ensure they improve their workplace practices and comply with workplace laws in future.

This would include completing the Hiring Employees course in the Online Learning Centre and registering a profile with the My Account online tool, which allows users to save tailored information, such as pay rates, specific to their circumstances.

It would also include the Brandsos downloading and completing templates for letters of engagement, payslips, weekly time-and-wages records, employee details, leave records and timesheets.

Under the Orders sought, the Brandsos would have to provide the Fair Work Ombudsman with evidence of having taken action. A hearing is listed for the Federal Circuit Court on August 27.

The Fair Work Ombudsman can assist employers and employees alike with accurate, reliable information that is easy to access, understand and apply.

Employers and employees seeking assistance can visit the website or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50.

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Ryan Pedler, Assistant Media Director
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