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Brisbane Bakery Penalised For Underpaying Junior Employee

Brisbane bakery penalised for underpaying junior employee

A Brisbane bakery has been penalised $26,460 for underpaying a junior employee.

The business owner also ignored a Fair Work Compliance Notice requiring her to rectify the wage theft.

Brisbane bakery penalised

The Federal Circuit Court penalised T & Sons Pty Ltd, trading as Mount Ommaney Bakehouse, $22,050.

The court also penalised manager Rosa Vo a further $4,410 for the wage theft in addition to the failure to comply with the Compliance Notice.

The Fair Work Ombudsman commenced an investigation following a compliant about underpayments from the 15 year-old shop assistant.

An inspector subsequently found the bakery underpaid the employee for work in February and March 2019.

This included a failure to pay lawful:

Fair Work also found Vo failed to pay the worker for all hours worked.

As a result of the workplace breaches, the inspector issued the Compliance Notice in January requiring Vo to calculate and back-pay the worker, which she subsequently failed to do.

‘Deliberate disregard for obligations’

Judge Michael Jarrett said Vo demonstrated a deliberate disregard for her obligations under the Fair Work Act.

“The failure to comply with a statutory notice is serious and in this case it required the Fair Work Ombudsman to commence proceedings in circumstances where litigation could have easily been avoided.

“A penalty needs to reflect the seriousness of the respondent’s conduct and it needs to send a message to both the respondents in this case and other like-minded organisations and individuals that ignoring the obligations cast upon employers and those that control them by the Fair Work Act will not be tolerated.”

Vo back-paid the worker after Fair Work commenced legal action.

Costly decision

Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan says employers who ignore Compliance Notices face hefty penalties.

“Compliance Notices are a chance to fix a mistake, or even an oversight, or whatever caused an employer to underpay their staff,” he said.

“Ignoring the Notice will not make it go away.

“In fact, if you do, a court will order you to pay back what you owe, and it will also hit you with additional penalties, which is exactly what happened in this case.”


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