Former Barossa Valley pizza operator penalised again

25 July 2022

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a penalty in court for a second time against the former operator of a pizza outlet in the Barossa Valley region of South Australia.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed a $4,620 penalty against Ziad Andary, who operated a takeaway business called ‘The Valley Pizza’ in Nuriootpa.
The penalty was imposed in response to Mr Andary failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring him to back-pay entitlements to a young worker employed on a casual basis at the outlet between December 2018 and August 2019.

In addition, the Court has ordered Mr Andary to take the action required by the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying the underpayment in full, plus interest and superannuation.

It is the second time the Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a penalty in court against Mr Andary. In 2021, Mr Andary was penalised $3,500 for failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring him to back-pay entitlements owed to a different worker formerly employed at The Valley Pizza.

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.

“We have no tolerance for deliberate non-compliance as occurred in this case. It is particularly disappointing to again have to take legal action against this employer – and again secure penalties – to ensure a worker receives all their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.

“Employers also need to be aware that taking action to protect vulnerable workers in the fast food industry 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.”

In relation to the most recent matter, the FWO investigated after receiving a request for assistance from the affected worker.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Mr Andary in July 2021 after forming a belief that the worker, then aged 22 to 23, had been underpaid minimum casual rates and penalty rates for late-night and weekend work entitlements under the Fast Food Industry Award 2010.

Judge Brown found that the matter involved deliberate non-compliance affecting a vulnerable worker, who was sometimes “largely homeless” during the employment period.

“Occasionally, as he had been kicked out of his previous accommodation, (the worker) would stay overnight at the business, in a backroom, due to him being largely homeless, otherwise he was couch surfing,” Judge Brown said.

Judge Brown said there was a need to deter Mr Andary and other employers from similar conduct.

“Mr Andary is, in effect, thumbing his nose, at the FWO and its legislatively justified attempts to ensure that an employee, employed in an industry which is rife with exploitation through underpayment, receives his just entitlements,” Judge Brown said.

Employers and employees can visit or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50. Small businesses can find targeted resources at the Small Business Showcase and information is available for employees and employers at our fast food, restaurants and cafes webpage.

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