NCA NewsWire/The Australian,
A Perth restaurant that paid a worker $200 for around 146 hours of work showed “complete disregard for their legal obligations”, the Fair Work Ombudsman says.
Soma Kitchen in Fremantle failed to comply with a compliance notice requiring it to calculate and back-pay entitlements owing to one of its former employees who lodged a request for assistance last year.
When director Giancarlo Daniele was followed up about the notice, he said it was “sitting on my desk to action”.
“I might do it today,” he said.
Federal Circuit Court Judge Christopher Kendall was damning of the response, saying Mr Daniele and his company had shown “no contrition, taken no corrective action” and “demonstrated a lack of co-operation throughout the entire period in which the FWO has been engaging with them”.
The court imposed a $18,270 penalty against the Italian restaurant and a $3654 fine against Mr Daniele.
It also ordered the company to comply with the compliance notice, including back-paying the worker’s outstanding entitlements in full, plus interest.
“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,” Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said.
More than 50 per cent of the ombudsman’s litigations filed in 2018-19 involved businesses in the fast food, restaurants and cafe sector.