Yogurberry franchisor accused of underpaying 417 visa holders
YBF Australia Pty Ltd, the master franchisor of Yogurberry in Australia, is facing court for allegedly short-changing four Korean nationals almost $18,000.
The workers, who knew limited English, were in Australia on 417 working holiday visas and were allegedly paid $8 an hour for up to six hours of training, before being paid flat rates of as little as $11 an hour. Under the Fast Food Industry Award they should have been paid between $14.82 and $18.52 an hour, for ordinary hours worked.
It’s also alleged the workers didn’t receive a special clothing allowance or superannuation entitlements and that three had unlawful deductions made from their wages. Laws relating to minimum shifts, classifications, record keeping and pay slips were allegedly also contravened.
The Korean backpackers – two aged between 19 and 20 at the time – were working at the Yogurberry outlet at World Square Shopping Centre in Sydney’s CBD.
Also facing court is YBF Australia part owner Soon Ok Oh, Ypgurberry World Square Pty Ltd and another Yoguberry Group company, CL Group Pty Ltd.
The Fair Work Ombudsman claims the four employees were underpaid a total of $17,827 between July 2014 and May 2015, with individual underpayments ranging between $1,926 to $6,380.
The employees have now been backpaid in full, except for superannuation still owing to two workers.
Despite this, the Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action, with YBF Australia Pty Ltd, Yogurberry World Square Pty Ltd and CL Group Pty Ltd each facing penalties of between $25,500 and $51,000 per contravention.
Soon Ok Oh faces maximum penalties ranging from $5,100 to $10,200 per contravention.
A directions hearing is scheduled for 26 July.