Cairns operator accused of underpaying 11 teenagers

14 November, 2019 by
Hospitality Magazine

The operator of Buenavista Kuranda café and Donut Joint (former operator) in Cairns is in hot water after allegedly short-changing 18 workers $13,913.

Fair Work alleges Maurice Arias and his company Mashnicisa Pty Ltd underpaid 17 Donut Joint employees, including 11 juniors aged between 15-18 and one Indian visa holder, $12,045 over a three-month period.

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In addition, one employee from the Buenavista Kuranda café was underpaid $1,868.

The Ombudsman alleges Donut Joint workers were paid flat rates that were not sufficient to cover weekend and public holiday penalty rates, overtime rates and evening loadings.

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It’s reported the Buenavista Kuranda employee’s underpayments occurred when she was not paid for all hours worked.

It’s alleged Arias and Mashnicisa Pty Ltd also breached laws by failing to comply with a Notice to Produce issued by the FWO and by providing FWO with false records.

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They allegedly also failed to provide new employees with a Fair Work Information Statement and breached record-keeping laws.

Arias faces penalties of up to $12,600 per contravention and Mashnicisa Pty Ltd up to $63,000 per contravention.

The underpayments are currently outstanding, with the Ombudsman seeking back payments for employees along with a court order requiring independent audits of wage payment practices with the results provided to Fair Work.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane on 7 February 2020.

Image credit: Myriad