The former operator of now-shuttered La Pasteria in Greenway, Canberra, has faced court over allegations the company failed to meet the conditions of a Compliance Notice issued by a Fair Work Inspector in January 2020.

The regulator investigated the company, GK Food Bars & Restaurants Pty Ltd, after receiving requests for assistance from two former employees. An inspector then formed the belief both had not been paid correctly.

One employee worked on a casual basis as a cook from May to July 2019, while the other was a full-time head chef who worked from April to August 2019.

It was alleged the former was underpaid casual minimum rates and superannuation, while the latter was underpaid the national minimum wage for hours worked in his final two weeks of work. It was also alleged the chef was not paid accrued annual leave entitlements at the end of his employment.

It’s not alleged the company has failed to comply with the Compliance Notice which required it to calculate and back-pay the workers’ entitlements. The company’s director Mr George Varvaritis is alleged to have been involved in the non-compliance.

The Fair Work Ombudsman, which several attempts to secure voluntary compliance before commencing legal action, is seeking penalties against GK Food Bars & Restaurants Pty Ltd and Mr Varvaritis.

The regulator is also seeking a court order for the company to comply with the Compliance Notice.

The company faces a maximum penalty of $31,500 while Mr Varvaritis is facing a maximum penalty of $6,300.