The former operator of the now-closed London Spice Bulimba restaurant in Brisbane has been slapped with a $28,000 penalty for failing to back-pay a worker.

The Fair Work Ombudsman secured the penalty in court after IP West Pty Ltd, the company that operated the restaurant, failed to comply with a compliance notice requiring it to back-pay entitlements to a waitress who was employed on a casual basis between November 2020 and August 2021.

On top of the fine, the court has ordered IP West Pty Ltd to calculate and back-pay the worker’s outstanding entitlements, plus superannuation and interest.

An investigation was conducted after the employee requested assistance from the Fair Work Ombudsman.

A Fair Work inspector issued a compliance notice after forming the belief the worker had been underpaid her minimum hourly rate, casual loading and weekend penalty rates under the Restaurant Industry Award 2020.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker says businesses that fail to act on compliances notices need to be aware of court-imposed penalties on top of having to back-pay workers.

“When compliance notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” says Parker.

“Employers also need to be aware that taking action to protect young workers and to improve compliance in the fast food, restaurant and café sector continue to be priorities for the FWO.”