The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a penalty in court against the operator of a Sydney take-away food outlet.
The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed a $2500 penalty against Heun Ok Kurosawa, a sole trader operating the ‘Sydney Kimbab Nara’ outlet on George Street, in the Sydney CBD.
The penalty was imposed in response to Ms Kurosawa failing to comply with a Compliance Notice requiring the back-payment of entitlements to a worker who had been employed as a kitchen assistant at Sydney Kimbab Nara for about three months in 2020.
The worker, from South Korea, was on a 417 working holiday visa at the time.
Ms Kurosawa back-paid the worker after the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal action.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face court-imposed penalties on top of having to back-pay workers.
“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.
“Employers also need to be aware that taking action to protect vulnerable workers and improve compliance in the fast food, restaurant and café sector continue to be priorities for the FWO. Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”
The regulator investigated after receiving a request for assistance from the affected worker.
A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Ms Kurosawa in February 2021 after forming a belief that the worker had been paid low, flat rates for all hours worked, resulting in underpayment of her minimum wage rate, casual loadings and weekend penalty rates under the Fast Food Industry Award 2010.
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