The West

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a penalty of $192,995 in court against the former operators of a Japanese café in Perth’s CBD after they deliberately falsified wage records.

A penalty of $168,415 was imposed against Quickpoint Pty Ltd, which formerly operated Shimizu Harbour Town café, and a $24,580 penalty against the company’s sole director Augustine Lawrence Chia.

Both the company and Chia knowingly made false pay slips and time-and-wages records and provided them to the Fair Work Ombudsman during an investigation.

Investigators looked into Quickpoint after receiving a request for assistance from a worker and issued a Notice to produce documents.

On two sperate occasions the company had provided inspectors with falsified records claiming that it had paid two employees at the café higher rates than was actually the case. 

Judge Christopher Kendall found that there had been a “blatant attempt by (Quickpoint and Mr Chia) to manipulate or threaten their employees with their jobs” if they did not support their “concerted attempt to deceive” the Ombudsman.

Through Chia the company pressured two employees to tell inspectors they had been paid award rates, even though they were only being paid $15 to $16 per hour.

“Anything you say about me or the company about not paying according to award wage can lead to a heavy fine and closing of this business,” reads a letter from Chia to the employees.

“This is very serious… if you say the wrong thing, we all will be out of a job.”

Judge Kendall described the actions of the company and its director as “reprehensible” and said that falsifying records is not a “straight-forward task” and requires “a level of deception”.

The Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker warns that employers who falsify records to try and intervene with an investigation will face serious consequences in court.

“Falsifying records and providing them to the Fair Work Ombudsman is extremely serious conduct and it will be met with the strongest possible enforcement action,” says Parker.

“Our experienced inspectors will test whether time and wages records are legitimate. If you use false records, you will be found out.”