Two Han’s Café franchisees in Perth have been fined a total of $80,000 in Federal Court for underpaying workers almost $100,000.
Phua and Foo Pty Ltd has been penalised $35,000 in relation to underpayments at the Armadale outlet where 27 staff members were underpaid and Tac Pham Pty Ltd has been fined $37,500 for underpaying 22 workers at the Rockingham outlet.
The underpaid employees included juniors as young as 17 years old and international students.
The underpayments at the two outlets occurred at various times between December 2014 and December 2015. All workers were back-paid in full last year.
In addition, the general manager of the Rockingham outlet, Cuc Thi Thu Pham, has been penalised $7500 for her role in the non-compliance at that outlet.
Fair Work previously advised Pham and Tac Pham Pty Ltd in 2013 about minimum lawful Award wage rates after receiving an underpayment allegation from a worker.
Justice Siopis found that Pham “simply chose to disregard her dealings with the FWO in November 2013 and continued to operate the defective wages payment system which she had inherited”.
The penalties come after the Fair Work Ombudsman last year secured $37,500 in penalties against the operator of the Han’s Café chain, Tram Hoang Han, and two associated companies for record-keeping practices that were so poor they prevented Fair Work from determining the full extent of underpayments of vulnerable overseas workers.
Image credit: The Herald Sun