Cafe served with court date over alleged violation of workplace laws

cafe franchisees, franchisee, compliance, cafe businesses

An operator of a cafe in the Gold Coast is set to face court after the Fair Work Ombudsman found sufficient grounds for alleging that it has violated workplace laws.

According to the FWO, Wildernis Pty Ltd, which operates Wildernis Cafe and Bar, was found to have not paid all entitlements owed under the Restaurant Industry Award 2010 and the National Employment Standards to a worker who served as a cook there from May 2019 to April 2020.

The worker was found to have not paid the casual minimum wage and weekend penalty rates, and when employed as a full-time employee was underpaid their accrued but unused annual leave on termination and pay in lieu of notice of termination.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Wildernis Pty Ltd in February 2021 and in June that year, Wildernis Pty Ltd agreed the former employee was owed $7985.10. However, they only paid the worker $1330.85 (less applicable tax) that month and made no further payments.

Because of this, the FWO is seeking a penalty against Wildernis Pty Ltd with a maximum penalty of $33,300. It is also seeking an order for the company to comply with the Compliance Notice, which includes making back-payments of $6654.25 (less applicable tax) to the worker, plus interest and superannuation.

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,” Parker said. “A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers.”

A hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Brisbane on 10 May 2022.