The operator of two ‘French Baguette Café’ outlets in Melbourne has been hit with penalties totalling $27,783, after failing to comply with a Compliance Notice.

Saveway Store Pty Ltd, which operates the Footscray and Richmond cafes, will pay $24,097.50, while its sole director, Mr Son Thanh Nguyen, will pay $3,685.50.

The Compliance Notice required the company to calculate and back-pay outstanding amounts owed to number of café employees. Both the company and Mr Nguyen were involved in the breach, with the company also breaching pay slip laws. In addition to paying the penalties, Saveway Store must also comply with the notice by rectifying underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.

“We make every effort to secure voluntary compliance with Compliance Notices but when businesses do not do the right thing, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive what they are owed,” said Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker.

“Employers need to be aware that taking action to protect the rights of vulnerable workers continues to be a priority for the Fair Work Ombudsman. Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”

The notice as issued in July 2019, after a Fair Work Inspector formed a belief that full-time and part-time café employees had been underpaid overtime rates and weekend and public holiday penalty rates under the Restaurant Industry Award. The breaches were discovered during broader auditing activities.