Hotel and pub operator in court
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operator of a hotel and pub in northern New South Wales.
Facing court is Trevor McDonald, who operates ‘Mallanganee Hotel & Pub’, in Mallanganee, as a sole trader.
The regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from a worker Mr McDonald employed between July 2020 and January 2021.
The worker was initially engaged on a casual basis as a food and beverage attendant in the pub before transitioning to a full-time managerial role.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Mr McDonald in December 2021 after forming a belief the worker had been underpaid the minimum casual rate, weekend penalty rates, public holiday penalty rates, evening rates, overtime rates and annual leave entitlements, owed under the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020 and the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.
The FWO alleges Mr McDonald, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required him to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements in full.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take business operators to court where lawful requests are not complied with.
“Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order business operators to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”
“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance,” Ms Parker said.
The FWO is seeking a penalty against Mr McDonald for the alleged failure to comply with the Compliance Notice. He faces a penalty of up to $6,600.
The regulator is also seeking a court order for Mr McDonald to take the steps set out in the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying the alleged underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Sydney on 29 May 2023.
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.