Engiadigna Pty Ltd, the North Queensland company behind Nick’s Swiss Italian Restaurant in Yungaburra, and its sole director Niculin Crameri will face court on 4 September 2020.

The restaurant was investigated when two casual employees lodged requests for assistance with the Fair Work Ombudsman. The cook and waiter were both visa holders.

It’s believed the company underpaid the two employees — a cook and a waiter, both visa holders — during periods between May 2018 and December 2019, including minimum wages, penalty rates and overtime owed under the Restaurant Industry Award 2010.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a compliance notice, which required Engiadigna to calculate and back-pay the employee’s entitlements. It’s now alleged the company failed to comply with that notice without reasonable excuse, because, in response to the notice, Engiadigna made deductions from amounts owing to the employees that were not authorised under the Fair Work Act.

The FWO is seeking penalties against Engiadigna and Crameri, with the former facing facing a maximum penalty of $31,500 and Crameri a maximum of $6,300. The regulator is also seeking orders to comply with the notice, including rectifying the underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.

The FWO is continuing to enforce workplace laws in a proportionate manner during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Where employers do not comply with our requests, we will take appropriate action to protect employees,” says Ombudsman Sandra Parker. “A court can order the business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers. Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance.”

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