The former operator of a Canberra caf is facing court for alleged serious contraventions of record-keeping and pay slip laws.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against Global Trading and Investment Group Pty Ltd and its former director, Dr Nathem Al-Naser, who formerly owned and operated Caf on Benjamin, located at the Westfield Belconnen Shopping Centre.
It’s alleged that when Fair Work inspectors attempted to audit Caf on Benjamin, the limited availability of time-and-wages records prevented them from completing a full assessment of whether four young employees, aged between 18 and 24, had been paid correctly.
Inspectors allegedly found that Dr Al-Naser and his company had also contravened workplace laws by failing to issue three employees with pay slips. One employee was intermittently provided pay slips that failed to have sufficient details.
The audit of the caf was part of a proactive auditing campaign by the Fair Work Ombudsman in Canberra in 2015.
The company back-paid four junior caf workers a total of $19,469 following intervention from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Dr Al-Naser faces maximum penalties of up to $5,100 per contravention over three alleged contraventions of the Fair Work Act, while Global Trading and Investment Group Pty Ltd faces penalties of up to $25,500 per contravention.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said serious record keeping failures are of grave concern for the agency.
“When we come across alleged record-keeping that is so sub-standard it prevents our inspectors from determining whether employees are receiving their minimum entitlements we take these matters very seriously,” James said.
“We also take these matters very seriously when we come across examples where records have been manipulated to mislead and conceal the true nature of what is occurring.
The matter’s first court date is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Canberra on 20 March.