Former La Porchetta franchisee penalised
The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a $10,656 penalty in court against the former operator of a La Porchetta pizza outlet in Wagga Wagga, NSW.
The Federal Circuit and Family Court has the imposed the penalty against Little Italy Wagga Wagga Pty Ltd, which was the franchisee for the outlet located on Baylis Street until the franchise agreement ended and the outlet ceased operation last year.
The penalty was imposed in response to the company breaching the Fair Work Act by failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring it to back-pay an employee.
Little Italy Wagga Wagga Pty Ltd back-paid the worker only after the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal action.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face court-imposed penalties on top of having to back-pay workers.
“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.
“Employers also need to be aware that taking action to improve compliance in the fast food, restaurant and café sector continues to be a priority for the FWO. Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”
The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated after receiving a request for assistance from a worker, aged 20 at the time.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Little Italy Wagga Wagga Pty Ltd in December 2020 after forming a belief the employee had been underpaid her annual leave entitlements, under the Fair Work Act, on termination of her employment in 2020.
Employers and employees can visit www.fairwork.gov.au 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. The website includes information specifically tailored for franchisees and franchisors. Small businesses can find targeted resources at the Small Business Showcase.