Sydney café operators in court 22 April

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operators of a café in inner Sydney.

Facing court is More Than Skin Pty Ltd, which operated The Noshery café in Glebe, and the company’s co-directors Mr Lupo Stojcevski and Ms Lila Stojcevski (also known as Lilly Stojcevski and Lilly Murabito).

The regulator investigated after receiving requests for assistance from three workers who were employed at the café for various periods between September and December, 2020.

A Fair Work Inspector issued three Compliance Notices to the company between March and May 2021 after forming a belief that three employees had not been paid their minimum casual wage entitlements, and casual penalty entitlements for weekend and public holiday work.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges the company, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with any of the Compliance Notices, which required it to calculate and back-pay the workers’ outstanding entitlements. It is also alleged the company failed to provide pay slips to two of the workers.

The regulator alleges Ms Stojcevski was involved in the breach of two Compliance Notices and the failure to provide pay slips, and that Mr Stojcevski was involved in the breach of one of the Compliance Notices.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to take business operators 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 company faces penalties of up to $33,300 per Compliance Notice breach and the two directors penalties of up to $6,660 each per Compliance Notice breach. The company and Ms Stojcevski face further potential penalties of up to $66,000 and $13,320 respectively for the alleged failure to provide pay slips.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a court order for company to take the actions required by the Compliance Notices, including calculating and rectifying any underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.

The matter is listed for a directions hearing in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Sydney on 15 June 2022.

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