IGA franchisee taken to court over non-compliance

The former operator of an IGA supermarket in Perth is set to face the Federal Circuit Court for failing to follow a Compliance Notice from the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The move comes after FWO had earlier investigated S & L Lenz Pty Ltd over allegations of the mistreatment of a former employee who worked there as a manager between April 2013 and January 2020.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice in August 2020 after finding that the company didn’t pay the accrued annual leave entitlements and pay in lieu of notice the former employee was entitled to under the National Employment Standards when her employment ended.

The FWO issued the court summons when the company, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the said notice.

“Under the Fair Work Act, Compliance Notices are important tools used by inspectors if they form a belief that an employer has breached workplace laws,” Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said. “Where employers do not comply with our requests, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”

The FWO is seeking a penalty against S & L Lenz Pty Ltd of up to $33,300 and for it to take the action required by the Compliance Notice, which includes calculating and rectifying any underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.

A directions hearing has been listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Perth on 28 January 2021.

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