The former operator of a bistro restaurant in NSW’s Central Coast will face court on 3 June this year over allegations that it had breached the Fair Work Act, after failing to comply with a Compliance Notice issued by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Tolu Investors Pty Ltd, which operated Spinnakers Brasserie in Gosford until last year, faces a maximum penalty of $33,300, while its Director Grant Christopher Goldsmith faces a maximum penalty of $6,660.

The regulator commenced an investigation into the company after receiving a request for assistance from a worker who had been employed as a full-time chef.

Originally from Pakistan, the employee speaks Urdu as their first language and was employed at the restaurant between between March 2018 and June 2021.

In November 2021 the Fair Work inspector issued a compliance notice to the company after forming the belief that the worker had been underpaid entitlements owed under the Restaurant Industry Award 2010, the Restaurant Industry Award 2020 and the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.

It is also alleged that the employee had been underpaid minimum wages and was not paid for 20 hours of personal leave when unfit for work because of an injury.

The Ombudsman believes that Tolu Investors, without reasonable excuse, failed to meet the requirements of the compliance notice which required it to calculate and back-pay the employee’s entitlements.

Goldsmith, who was the executive chef at the time, was believed to have also been involved in the contravention.

The regulator is seeking a court order for the company to rectify all underpayments in full, plus interest and superannuation.

Tolu investors have already made a partial back-payment regarding the personal leave entitlements.

A directions hearing is set to commence in Parramatta.

Image Credit: Inside Retail