A catering company based at the Rules Club in Wagga in New South Wales has been penalised $50,100 for wage theft.
The Federal Circuit Court penalised Mohammed Yasin, the former sole director and part-owner of A to Z Catering Solution Pty Limited.
Yasin previously admitted underpaying seven employees a total of $24,139 between July 2013 and April 2014.
Wagga Rules Club catering company penalised
A to Z Catering employed the workers as cooks and waiters at the Rules Club, under a contract it held to run the venue’s restaurant.
The employees included a teenager, aged 17, in addition to three aged in their early 20s.
Most of the wage theft involved Yasin paying most of the casual employees flat rates of $20 an hour.
He also paid one part-time worker just $10 an hour.
As a result of the flat rates, the business failed to pay minimum hourly rates and weekend penalty rates.
The relevant Award stipulated $39 an hour for some hours worked.
A to Z also failed to pay superannuation, annual leave and clothing entitlements.
It also failed to provide pay slips as required by law.
Finally, Yasin also knowingly provided false records to Fair Work inspectors in an attempt to cover-up the wage theft.
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Criminal penalties needed
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan has once again called on state and federal governments to make wage theft a crime.
“Until we start convicting and jailing rogue operators, wage theft will continue unabated in this country,” he said.
“Young hospitality workers are vulnerable to exploitation, and we need laws to protect them from greedy bosses like Mr Yasin.”
Meanwhile, A to Z Catering back-paid the workers in full after the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal proceedings.
The company has since gone into liquidation.
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