A Crust Pizza outlet is facing court for allegedly ignoring an order to back-pay workers.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is currently cracking down on businesses that fail to comply with Compliance Notices.
Crust Pizza facing court for ignoring Compliance Notice
Facing the Federal Circuit Court is 1 TWO KA 4 CP Pty Ltd, which operates the Crust Pizza outlet in North Paramatta.
In addition, company directors and shareholders, Vipul Janisari and Dhruvin Patel, are also facing court.
The company is accused of failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring it to calculate and back-pay wages to employees.
Investigation commenced following complaints from workers
Fair Work commenced an investigation into the store after receiving complaints from workers about wage theft.
Following the investigation, inspectors issued the company with the Compliance Notice.
They believed that employees at the store were being underpaid minimum wages.
Furthermore, they accused the store of failing to pay:
- casual loadings;
- a special clothing allowance;
- a transport allowance;
- overtime rates; and
- penalty rates for public holiday and evening work.
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from IR Claims says too many companies are making a mockery of workplace laws.
“This business is accused of stealing wages, and when given an order to rectify it, they ignore it,” he said.
“This case is yet another example illustrating the need for much tougher penalties for wage theft.
“Employers who deliberately or recklessly underpay their staff deserve to face criminal penalties and also jail sentences.”
Compliance Notices are an important tool
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker stands by the use of Compliance Notices to recover unpaid wages, despite the high rate of non-compliance.
“Inspectors can issue a Compliance Notice if they form a belief that an employer has breached certain workplace laws.
“Where employers do not comply with our notices, a court can order them to pay penalties in addition to back-paying any affected employees.”
Fair Work is seeking penalties and back pay
As a result of the alleged breaches, Fair Work is seeking penalties against 1 TWO KA 4 CP Pty Ltd, Janisari and Patel.
The company faces a maximum penalty of $31,500, while Janisari and Patel each face a maximum penalty of $6,300.
The regulator is also seeking orders requiring the company to back-pay outstanding wages and superannuation plus interest.
The Federal Circuit Court in Sydney has a directions hearing listed for 6 February.
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