A Brisbane car repair business has been penalised $30,000 for underpaying a mechanic.
The business also failed to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring it back-pay the worker.
Brisbane car repair business penalised
The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed the penalty against Bhangu Pty Ltd.
The company operates ‘Rehaan Automotive Care’ at Archerfield, south of Brisbane.
The affected worker, from India, worked as a full-time motor mechanic between February 2017 and February 2018.
The Fair Work Ombudsman commenced an investigated following a wage theft complaint from the worker.
An inspector subsequently issued the Compliance Notice in September 2021.
They had formed a belief that the business had underpaid minimum wages in addition to annual leave entitlements.
The business failed to comply, however.
Bondi café penalised
Meanwhile, the Federal Circuit and Family Court has also penalised the operators of a café in Bondi in Sydney for failing to comply with a Compliance Notice.
The court imposed a $28,500 penalty against Preach by the Beach Pty Ltd, which operates ‘Preach Café’.
The court also penalised the company’s sole director and shareholder, Rarbie Taha, $6,000.
Fair Work issued the Compliance Notice in January 2022.
An inspector formed a belief that the business failed to pay a worker proper casual minimum wages and weekend penalty rates.
Judge Douglas Humphreys described the conduct as “deliberate”.
He pointed to a willingness “to exploit workers in an industry that has a significant track record in relation to under payments to workers”.
“It is fair to say that it is somewhat notorious in the Court that compliance within the café and restaurant industry is at a very low level,” Judge Humphreys said.
“Other matters before the Court, indicate an almost culture of seeking to exploit vulnerable young workers or workers who are here on visas on the basis they will not complain and that they can be taken advantage of by not paying them the award entitlements that they are entitled to.”
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Meanwhile, Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker warned business operators who fail to act on Compliance Notices will face additional penalties.
“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.
“Employers should also be aware that taking action to protect vulnerable employees, such as migrant workers, is a priority for the agency.”
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