The former operators of a Chatime outlet in Sydney is facing court for allegedly underpaying 17 workers more than $46,000.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has taken action against Panol DC Ltd directors Carlo Benjamin Dela Cruz and Leiden Emmanuel Panol for their involvement in the underpayments.

It’s alleged employees at the George Street operation were paid between $13 and $18.55 per hour during January and November 2017, resulting in a collective underpayment of $46,372. Public holiday penalty rates were also underpaid.

Fair Work inspectors discovered the underpayments during ‘proactive audits’ and also found the company breached record-keeping laws.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parking says the enforcement of workplace laws in the fast food sector remain a priority for the agency. “We are investigating compliance levels in both established and emerging franchise chains across Australia,” says Parker. “All franchise outlets are on notice that they must pay staff lawful minimum pay rates and franchisors.”

Panol and Dela Cruz are facing penalties of up to $12,600 per contravention with the maximum penalty per contravention set at $63,000. The FWO is also seeking court orders for the company to back-pay employees in full.

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