Little Cupcakes in Melbourne has been accused of underpaying 35 staff $57,179.69 over an 11-month period.

The retailer came to the attention of the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) during unannounced visits to the Degraves Street and Hardware Lane dining precincts in 2018.

The FWO has commenced legal action in the Federal Court circuits against Shri Krishna Guru Pty Ltd, which operates three Little Cupcakes locations in the CBD and a baking facility in Armadale.

Company director Shreyansh Dharmesh Shah is also facing court.

It’s alleged 35 employees who worked across the four locations were underpaid a total of $57,179.69 between January 2018 to February 2019.

10 employees were aged under 21 and many workers were visa holders, with individual underpayments ranging from $20 to over $10,000.

Employees were allegedly underpaid leave loadings, minimum-engagement pay, minimum hourly rates and loadings for weekend, public holiday, evening and overtime work under the Award. Record-keeping and pay slip contraventions are also alleged.

The FWO alleges Shah was involved in all workplace contraventions, with the company facing penalties up to $63,000 per contravention and Shah facing penalties up to $12,600 per contravention.

FWO Sandra Parker says Fair Work will continue to crack down on businesses over the coming months.

“We will continue to enforce workplace laws in a proportionate manner during the COVID-19 pandemic, and hold employers to account in order to protect employees,” says Parker.

All underpayments have been settled, with the matter to be heard in court on 31 July 2020.

Image credit: Uber Eats

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