Brisbane Café penalised $139,800 for paying workers in food and drink

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured $139,800 in penalties in proceedings against the operator of a Brisbane café that partially paid some of its employees in food and drink.

The Federal Circuit Court has imposed a $95,000 penalty against Timi Trading Pty Ltd, which operated Café 63 Chermside at the Westfield Chermside shopping centre.

In addition, company director and manager Tien Hoang Le and company manager Minh Vo Duy Nguyen have each been penalised $20,000 for their involvement in all of the contraventions by the company; and Hamish Watson, the owner of the café 63 brand, has been penalised $4,800 for his involvement in one contravention by the company.

Eleven employees at Café 63 Chermside were paid part of their wages in food and drink during two periods between August 2017 and January 2018.

Mr Le and Ms Nguyen were involved in breaches relating to all 11 workers and Mr Watson was involved in breaches relating to six of the workers.

Most of the affected workers were visa holders, including seven juniors aged under 21, who worked as cooks, kitchen attendants and food and beverage attendants. Fair Work inspectors investigated after receiving underpayment allegations.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said Timi Trading’s conduct breached the provision of the Fair Work Act requiring that employees be paid in money.

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