The operators of Adelaide CBD venue Gyoza Gyoza will face court on 26 March over underpayments.

According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, two employees on visas were paid rates as low as $12 per hour between April and August 2018. The underpayments for both employees total $10,517.43, which has largely been repaid.

The venue is operated by CNL Group Pty Ltd under a franchise agreement. The company, its sole director Yu Bing Li and its chef/manager, Mingang Du, were involved in a number of breaches including failure to pay minimum rates, weekend penalties and loadings for work after 10pm.

Further allegations suggest Li physically blocked an inspector from viewing time and wage records during a site visit last year, before removing the record from the premises.

CNL is also alleged to have provided false and misleading pay records to inspectors, failed to comply with a Notice to Produce, and failed to provide payslips in breach of the Fair Work Act. Li is also accused of being involved in these contraventions.

“The alleged conduct affected visa holders who can be particularly susceptible to workplace exploitation as they can be scared of losing their jobs and visas, or are not familiar with Australia’s workplace rules. Visa holders have the same workplace rights as any other worker,” said Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker.

“This action should serve as a warning to all businesses that our inspectors must be allowed to carry out their important duties to help protect employees and the system.”

The FWO is seeking declarations against CNL, Li and Du, repayment of the remaining underpaid wages, and civil penalties.

In relation to the alleged contraventions, CNL faces maximum penalties of $63,000 per breach, while Li and Du face a maximum penalty of $12,600 per breach.

Image: Weekend Notes

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