Queensland bakery operators penalised

16 September 2022

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured $11,833 in penalties in court against the operators of a bakery in regional Queensland.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed $8,057 in penalties against sole trader Allan James Beil, who operates the Woolshed Bakery in Tara, for failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring him to back-pay a worker and failing to issue pay slips to the worker.

The Court has also imposed a $3,776 penalty against Brooke Beil, who is involved in managing the bakery, for her involvement in the pay slip contravention.

In addition to the penalties, the Court has ordered Mr Beil to fully comply with the Compliance Notice by calculating and back-paying the outstanding entitlements owed to the worker, plus superannuation and interest.

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.

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”

The FWO commenced an investigation after receiving a request for assistance from the affected worker, who was employed at the bakery on a casual basis to perform baking production duties from March to May, 2020.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Mr Beil in July 2021 after forming a belief the worker was underpaid her casual night shift allowance and weekend shiftwork penalty rates, owed under the General Retail Industry Award 2010.

Judge Amanda Tonkin noted that the Compliance Notice had been issued more than 12 months ago but the worker had still not been back-paid.

Judge Tonkin found that it was important to send a message that the contraventions were “serious and not acceptable”.

“There is a need to send a message to employers generally and to the relevant industry in particular that a failure to comply with a Compliance Notice is a serious matter,” Judge Tonkin said.

Employers and employees can visit www.fairwork.gov.au 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.

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