Cocktail Bar Operators Rinsed Out by Fair Work

Sep 13th, 2021

The former operators of a rooftop cocktail bar in the CBD of Melbourne are the recipient of court-imposed penalties for failing in their record-keeping and pay slip obligations, as well as failing to comply with a Compliance Notice served by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) to back-pay an employee.

It was brought to the FWO’s attention when an employee on a 417 working holiday visa reached out for assistance.

It is this visa status that meant the employee was in a particularly disadvantaged position, which the FWO takes very seriously. Furthermore, the FWO has been stringent enforcing employer obligationsin the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Upon investigation, a Fair Work Inspector formed the belief that this employee had been underpaid their casual loading, as well as the penalty rates for weekends, public holidays and late night and early morning hours that are afforded to them under the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010.

However, after the Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice, the former operators failed to comply, and the FWO was forced to take legal action to ensure the former employee received their minimum lawful entitlements. The penalties amount to $15, 624 against the former operator of the cocktail bar, and $12, 096 against the former manager.

The company has since gone into liquidation after the commencement of legal action by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

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