The former operators of shuttered Kenthurst cafe Est by Fig and Co in Sydney are in hot water after it’s alleged two workers were paid the incorrect entitlements when their employment ended.

Annangrove Road Pty Ltd, which operated the cafe before it closed, employed two visa workers who worked as full-time chefs during various periods between September 2020 to June 2021.

The chefs were aged 23 and 24 at the time, and were supposedly paid untaken annual leave entitlements – not accrued leave entitlements – when their employment concluded at the cafe, owed under the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.

Inspectors issued the operators with a compliance notice requiring the business, run by sole director Alfredo Gualterio, to calculate and back-pay the entitlements owed to both workers, however the notice was not acted upon.

Gualterio now faces a penalty of up to $6,660, with Annangrove Road Pty Ltd looking at a fine of up to $33,300.

“Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers,” said Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Kristen Hannah.

“Employers should also be aware that taking action to improve compliance in the fast food, restaurant and café sector and protecting visa holders and young workers are priorities for the FWO.”

Fair Work is additionally seeking a court order for the company to pay compensation for the amount of alleged underpayments plus interest.

Note: A business now operates in the former location of Est by Fig and Co under the name Fig & Co and is not affiliated with the aforementioned information.