Swiss Italian restaurant to face court over underpayments

The operator of Nick’s Swiss Italian Restaurant in Yungaburra, North Queensland is set to face the Federal Circuit Court over the alleged underpayment of employees.

The employer in question, Engiadigna Pty Ltd, and its sole director Niculin Crameri, was found to have underpaid two casual, visa-holding employees, who worked as a cook/chef and waiter/table runner respectively between May 2018 and December 2019.

A Fair Work inspector issued a Compliance Notice for the company to back-pay minimum wages, penalty rates and overtime owed under the Restaurant Industry Award 2010. However, Engiadigna failed to do so, and the Fair Work Ombudsman cited this failure as being “without reasonable excuse.”

“Where employers do not comply with our requests, we will take appropriate action to protect employees,” Fair Work Ombudsman, Sandra Parker, said. “A court can order the 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.”

The FWO is seeking penalties of up to $31,500 against Engiadigna and up to $6300 against Crameri. They are also seeking an order that compels the company to comply with the Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying the underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.

A hearing in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane has been set on 4 September 2020.

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