Two Melbourne based companies will face court in April 2020 after failing to comply with a compliance notice issues by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Goldream Pty Ltd, which operates Tall Timber in Prahran and Plushbear Pty Ltd, which Friends of Mine in Richmond, are both run by the same director, Barry Gold.
The notices required the businesses to back-pay apparent underpayments. The workplace regulator alleges both companies and Gold have breached the Fair Work Act by failing to do so.
The alleged underpayments were uncovered by Fair Work Inspectors during audits of employers in the Richmond area and other popular food destinations in 2018.
An investigation indicated the Restaurant Industry Award 2010 was contravened between December 2017 and June 2018, with casual employees at Tall Timber and Friends of Mine paid flat rates for all hours worked, including weekends and public holidays. Both businesses operate 365 days a year according to their websites.
The cafes employed student visa holders and employees on working holiday visas.
The FWO is seeking penalties of up to $31,500 for each company while Gold is also facing a maximum penalty of $6,300 in both of the proceedings.
A Court Order is also being sought to ensure the businesses rectify the underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.
The fast food, restaurant and cafe sector has accounted for 56 per cent of the FWO’s new litigations last financial year.