The former operator and manager of The Red Hummingbird bar in Melbourne have been fined for underpaying an overseas worker and breaching the Fair Work Act.

Director of C & H Entertainment Don Haris Kumarage and former manager Channa Dissanayake were both involved in a number of breaches including underpayments and pay slip and record-keeping breaches.

C & H Entertainment went into liquidation after the Fair Work Ombudsman commenced court action.

The Ombudsman commenced an investigation into the business after receiving a request for assistance from an employee on a working holiday visa.

A compliance noticed was issued to Kumarage on behalf of the company in September 2019 after it was found the worker had not been paid their correct entitlements between January and April 2019.

The matter was taken to court after the staff member was not back-paid.

“When compliance notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” said Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker.

Judge Philip Burchardt said the employee’s visa status put her in “a particularly disempowered position”.

“If [the company] had complied with the compliance notice, the [Fair Work Ombudsman] would not have been able to bring civil remedy proceedings,” Judge Burchardt said.

A $15,624 penalty has been imposted against Kumarage with Dissanayake receiving a $12,096 penalty.

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance,” said Parker.

Image credit: Hidden City Secrets