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Gold Coast café and director fined for back-pay indiscretion

Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores
04 February 2021 1 minute readShare
Gold Coast cafe fined

The Federal Circuit Court has handed down a $16,000 penalty for a Gold Coast café and an additional $3,000 fine for its director for failing to adequately account for back-pay entitlement for two of its workers.

The penalties against Sun Sea Equity Pty Ltd, which traded as “3 Beans” in the Broadbeach area, and its sole director Natasha Doumani were imposed in response to the company breaching the Fair Work Act by failing to comply with a compliance notice requiring the company to correctly calculate and back-pay entitlements owing to two casual café workers, aged in their 20s.

Fair Work inspectors commenced an investigation into the company after receiving requests for assistance from the two underpaid café workers.

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The compliance notice was issued after a Fair Work inspector formed a belief that the company underpaid the workers minimum wage rates for ordinary hours, casual loading, overtime, weekend and public holiday penalty rates, and late night and early morning shift payments under the Restaurant Industry Award 2010.

The company fully back-paid the workers only after the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal action.

 

Judge Michael Jarrett found it was important to impose a penalty to deter others from similar conduct.

“Fixing a penalty in this case requires the court to ensure that the relevant compliance notice regime established by the Fair Work Act is met and that the regime is an effective means of ensuring compliance with the act,” Judge Jarrett said.

“Employers and others who receive such notices should be under no misapprehension about what is required of them.”

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said businesses that fail to act on compliance notices face court-imposed penalties in addition to having to back-pay underpaid staff.

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“We make every effort to secure voluntary compliance with compliance notices, but where they are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.

Gold Coast café and director fined for back-pay indiscretion
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Adrian Flores
Adrian Flores

Adrian Flores is the deputy editor of MyBusiness. Before that, he was the deputy editor for SMSF Adviser as well as features editor for ifa (Independent Financial Adviser), InvestorDaily, Risk Adviser, Fintech Business and Adviser Innovation.

You can email Adrian at [email protected].

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