Former IGA franchisee penalised

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a $21,450 penalty in court against the former operator of an IGA supermarket in Perth.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed the penalty against S & L Lenz Pty Ltd, which was formerly the franchisee of the IGA supermarket in Byford.

The penalty was imposed in response to S & L Lenz Pty Ltd failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring it to back-pay entitlements to a worker who was employed on a full-time basis as a manager at the supermarket between April 2013 and January 2020.

The Court has also ordered the company to take the steps required under the Compliance Notice by back-paying entitlements to the worker, plus superannuation and interest. The Court found that the outstanding underpayment was approximately $35,000.

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 investigated after receiving a request for assistance from the affected worker.

The Compliance Notice was issued in August 2020 after a Fair Work inspector formed a belief that the worker had not been paid the accrued annual leave and pay-in-lieu-of-notice entitlements she was entitled to under the National Employment Standards when her employment ended.

Judge Antoni Lucev found that the non-compliance with the Compliance Notice was deliberate and there had been no expression of regret or remorse.

Judge Lucev said the penalty should act “as a warning to other employers generally, and in the relevant industry particularly, not to engage in the conduct of contravening Compliance Notices”.

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