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FWA: Melbourne Restaurant Owner Faces Court For Allegedly Underpaying Young Workers

A Melbourne restaurant owner and is facing Court after allegedly underpaying staff more than $26,000, also facing court is the owner’s other company. It is alleged that 13 employees, including six young workers aged 19 or 20, were underpaid a total of $26,707 between March and June last year.

The employees were allegedly paid flat rates of between $16.87 and $20.11 an hour.

However, it is alleged that under the Restaurant Industry Award they were variously entitled to be paid $18.02 to $22.53 for normal hours and penalty rates ranging from $22.52 to $45.05 for weekend, night, public holiday and overtime work.

The restaurant owner and his company allegedly also contravened workplace laws by failing to keep proper employment records and failing to comply with a Notice to Produce pay records.

The employees have now been back-paid in full.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the involvement of young workers and the fact that the restaurant owner had previously been put on notice of the need to pay employees’ their lawful minimum entitlements were significant factors in the decision to commence legal action.

The owner faces maximum penalties ranging from $5100 to $10,200 per contravention and the owners other company faces penalties of between $25,500 and $51,000 per contravention.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a Court Order requiring Mr Bilwani and his company to commission a professional external audit of their pay practice next year and rectify any underpayments discovered.

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