The former operator of a Bar and Grill restaurant is in court for allegedly failing to pay outstanding leave entitlements.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges the employer failed to obey a Compliance Notice directing them to pay the worker involved.
Bar and Grill operator in court
Robert Sunna ran the Sails Waterfront Bar and Grill restaurant at Sandringham in Sydney.
Fair Work commenced an investigation after receiving a complaint from a waiter who worked at the restaurant for two years.
The worker is a visa holder from Bangladesh.
His employment came to an end when the restaurant closed late last year.
Inspectors allege Sunna failed to pay the worker his accrued but untaken annual leave.
They subsequently issued Sunna with a Compliance Notice requiring him to back-pay the outstanding annual leave entitlements, in addition to superannuation and leave loadings.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker says the regulator will enforce workplace laws, despite the coronavirus crisis.
“Where employers do not comply with a Compliance Notice, we will take appropriate action to protect employees.
“A court can then order them to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan renewed his call for governments to introduce criminal penalties for wage theft.
“Stealing is a crime, therefore, wage theft should be treated as a crime,” he said.
“For too long, greedy employers have been allowed to get away with stealing their worker’s wages, and it’s time it stopped.
“And the quickest way we will make it stop is to start locking up rogue bosses.”
Sails Waterfront Bar & Grill faces a maximum penalty of $31,500.
Additionally, Sunna faces a maximum penalty of $6,300.
Furthermore, Fair Work is also seeking orders requiring Sails Waterfront Bar & Grill to comply with the Compliance Notice.
Specifically, rectifying underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.
The Federal Circuit Court has listed the matter for a directions hearing in Sydney on 24 July 2020.
Please call our team at Industrial Relations Claims today on