Restaurant owner in court over underpayments

The operator of a Thai restaurant in Newcastle is facing a date at the Federal court on the back of action brought by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Supon Phiyasirikul, a sole trader who operates the Thai Square Warners Bay restaurant, faces a potential maximum penalty of $6300 for allegedly failing to comply with a Compliance Notice ordering him to rectify the underpayment of a number of employees, one of whom contacted the Fair Work Ombudsman over concerns about their remuneration.

On the back of the subsequent investigation into this complaint, a Fair Work Inspector issued the Compliance Notice earlier after having found that Phiyasirikul, between July 2018 and June 2019, allegedly underpaid minimum wage rates for ordinary hours, casual loading, overtime, and weekend and public holiday penalty rates under the Restaurant Industry Award 2010.

Fair Work Ombudsman, Sandra Parker, said, “The Fair Work Ombudsman is cracking down on alleged underpayments in the fast food, restaurant and café sector, including of migrant workers, and will continue to use all its enforcement tools to ensure employers meet their lawful obligations.” Parker reiterated her focus on the hospitality industry in light of the fact that it accounted for over half the cases her office investigated in the last 12 months.

The Fair Work Ombudsman will ask the Court for an order that will compel Phiyasirikul to comply with the Compliance Notice by making good the underpayments and paying any superannuation and accrued interest due to the employees.

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