Restaurant Partners Face Court for Underpayment

Aug 25th, 2021

Underpayment and cashback payments for two employees, totalling more than $250, 000 has led to legal action commencing against the operators of a Vietnamese restaurant. The two employees initially reached out to the Fair Work Ombudsman for assistance.

The two employees were visa holders, and the Fair Work Ombudsman pays particular attention to cases that involve their underpayment, owing to their susceptibility to being taken advantage of in the workplace.

The restaurant operators are alleged to have breached the Fair Work Act 2009 by requiring the two employees to pay back $10, 810 of their wages and entitlements in cashback payments.

One worker also failed to receive the minimum rates for their ordinary hours, leave entitlements, and weekend and overtime penalty rates that they were entitled to receive as per the Restaurant Industry Award 2010 and the Fair Work Act. However, the Fair Work Ombudsman alleges that additional cashback payments and other underpayments amount to $250, 312.

Furthermore, the employers are alleged to have failed to create and keep the appropriate records, nor did they provide pay slips, and even further, they provided the Fair Work Ombudsman with false records.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is currently seeking court-imposed penalties against the two restaurant operators, as well as court orders for them to pay back their former employees’ entitlements as well as interest. They also face $12, 600 penalties per contravention.

The operators will be held to the reverse onus provisions outlined in the Protecting Vulnerable Workers amendments to the Fair Work Act, and therefore they’ll be required to disprove these allegations if they wish to contest the matter in a court setting.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in early October.

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