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Restaurant Owner Penalised $22,050 For Ignoring Compliance Notice

Restaurant owner penalised $22,050 for ignoring Compliance Notice

A restaurant owner has been penalised $22,050 for ignoring a Compliance Notice issued by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Fair Work issued the Compliance Notice after it found the restaurant had underpaid a young worker.

Restaurant owner penalised for ignoring Compliance Notice

Fair Work commenced legal action against the operator of The Old Cop Shop Eatery, located at Coburg in Melbourne.

The regulator accused the restaurant of failing to comply with a Compliance Notice.

The Notice required the restaurant to calculate and back-pay a 21 year-old waiter, plus interest.

Fair Work commenced an investigation as a result of receiving a complaint from the worker.

Inspectors found the restaurant failed to pay the young waiter lawful:

  • minimum wage rate for ordinary hours,
  • casual loadings,
  • and penalty rates for Sunday and public holiday work.

Compliance Notices help recover unpaid wages

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker defended the use of Compliance Notices, despite many employers simply ignoring them.

“Compliance Notices are an important tool we use to get unpaid wages back into workers’ pockets in a timely manner.

“If employers do not comply with Compliance Notices, they can face court-imposed fines in addition to the initial wages back-payment bill.”

Contravention ‘deliberate’

Judge Heather Riley described the contravention as “deliberate”.

Additionally, she found The Old Cop Shop failed to co-operate, or show any contrition.

Furthermore, the restaurant failed to take any corrective action.

She also noted the affected worker is young and vulnerable.

Judge Riley said that general deterrence is “a significant factor in this case, given that the restaurant industry is notorious for underpayments to staff”.

In addition to the penalty, the Federal Circuit Court ordered The Old Cop Shop Eatery to rectify the underpayment of the worker, plus interest.

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