Former Kilmore bistro operator penalised

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a penalty in court against a former operator of a bistro located in Kilmore, Victoria.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed a $2,640 penalty against Paul Kenneth Hendrie, who was involved in operating the Red Lion Brewery bistro, before it ceased trading.

The penalty was imposed in response to Mr Hendrie being involved in breaching the Fair Work Act by failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring the back-payment of entitlements to a worker who had been employed at Red Lion Brewery as an adult apprentice chef.

The Court ordered the penalty be paid to the worker to partially rectify the underpayments, which remain outstanding.

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Mark Scully said business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face court-imposed penalties.

“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Mr Scully 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 at Red Lion Brewery from October 2019 to March 2020, when he was aged 24.

The Compliance Notice was issued in March 2021 after an inspector formed a belief the worker had been underpaid entitlements under the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010, including minimum wages, weekend and public holiday penalty rates, and annual leave entitlements.

Judge Amanda Mansini said the total underpayment had been estimated at more than $9000 and found that Mr Hendrie had made a deliberate decision not to comply with the Compliance Notice.

Judge Mansini found that Mr Hendrie had prioritised his own interests at the expense of the employee’s entitlements and said Mr Hendrie had “not cooperated with the regulator, demonstrated any contrition or attempted to correct the wrongdoing subject of these proceedings”.

Judge Mansini found that there was a need to impose a penalty to deter Mr Hendrie and others from similar conduct in future.

“It is vital that the penalty be imposed at a level which is sufficient as not to simply constitute a cost of doing business in the event that a disgruntled employee or a regulator may investigate,” Judge Mansini said.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.