Café operator penalised

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a penalty in court against the operator of a café offering take away services in western Victoria.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed a $10,206 penalty against Peter Thulborn, who operates Mortlake Deli Fresh Café in Mortlake.

The penalty was imposed in response to Mr Thulborn failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring the back-payment of a worker who had been employed at the café and breaching pay slip laws.

The Court also ordered Mr Thulborn take the action required by the Compliance Notice, which includes calculating and back-paying the entitlements owed to the worker, plus superannuation and interest.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face court-imposed penalties on top of having to back-pay workers.

“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”

The FWO commenced an investigation after receiving a request for assistance from the affected worker, who was employed part-time at Mortlake Deli Fresh Café between July 2018 and November 2019. Her duties included preparing take away food and coffee.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Mr Thulborn in March 2020 after forming a belief the worker had not been paid all entitlements owed under the Fast Food Industry Award 2010.

The inspector believed the worker had been underpaid her part-time minimum wages, penalty rates for public holiday, early morning and weekend work and was not paid accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements at the end of her employment.

Mr Thulborn also breached workplace laws by issuing pay slips to the worker that did not contain the required information.

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