The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the former operators of a Brisbane café for allegedly breaching a Fair Work Commission order by failing to pay compensation to an unfairly dismissed worker.
Facing the Federal Circuit Court are G & G Group Trading Pty Ltd, which formerly operated Bar Spritz at Kangaroo Point, and the company’s sole director and shareholder, Giuseppe Virzi.
In September 2020, the Fair Work Commission found that in November 2019, G & G Group Trading Pty Ltd unfairly dismissed a barista it had employeed to work at Bar Spritz since 2017.
The Fair Work Commission ordered the company to pay the worker $5,096.14 compensation, plus $677.78 in superannuation entitlements within three weeks.
The employee lodged a request for assistance with the Fair Work Ombudsman after the company allegedly failed to make the payments to her.
The Fair Work Ombudsman commenced an investigation and, in line with the Fair Work Ombudsman’s proportionate approach to regulation during the COVID-19 pandemic, made several attempts to secure voluntary compliance before commencing legal action.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the legal action would reinforce the importance of the Commission’s orders.
“It is fundamental for the integrity of the workplace relations system that Fair Work Commission orders are complied with,” Ms Parker said.
“The Fair Work Ombudsman is clearly prepared to take legal action to ensure that employees receive compensation they are lawfully entitled to.”
It is alleged that G & G Group Trading Pty Ltd and Mr Virzi breached the Fair Work Act by failing to comply with a Fair Work Commission order. The Fair Work Ombudsman is seeking a penalty against each of them.
The company faces a penalty of up to $66,600, and Mr Virzi faces a penalty of up to $13,320.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a court order for the company to pay the outstanding compensation and superannuation owed to the employee, plus interest.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane for 29 June 2021.