Former Pizza Hut franchisee in court

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the former operator of a Pizza Hut outlet in south-east Queensland.

Facing court is IFITS Food Co Pty Ltd, which was the franchisee for the outlet located on Albion St, in Warwick, until the company ceased operating the outlet in late 2021.

The regulator investigated after receiving requests for assistance from two workers IFITS Food Co employed at the outlet in part-time roles between March 2020 to October 2021.

One worker was employed as an assistant manager and the other, aged 17 at the time of employment, was in a customer service role.

A Fair Work Inspector issued Compliance Notices to IFITS Food Co in February and April 2022 after forming a belief the workers were not paid accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements at the end of their employment, owed under the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.

The inspector formed a belief the young worker was also not paid payment-in-lieu-of-notice of termination entitlements, owed under the Fast Food Industry Award 2010.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges IFITS Food Co, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notices, which required it to calculate and back-pay the workers’ entitlements.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.

“Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance,” Ms Parker said.

The FWO is seeking penalties in court for an alleged failure to comply with two Compliance Notices. IFITS Food Co faces a penalty of up to $33,300 per contravention.

The regulator is also seeking an order for IFITS Food Co to take steps set out in the Compliance Notices, including rectifying the alleged underpayments in full, plus interest and superannuation. A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Brisbane on 13 December 2022.

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