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FWO secures over $38k in penalties against two Melbourne businesses

Regulation

Two Melbourne businesses have had penalty notices imposed in court and been ordered to back-pay their employees after FWO investigations.

By Josh Needs3 minute read

The FWO began investigating Absolute Thai Melbourne Pty Ltd, which operated as Wokks, after receiving a request for assistance from an affected worker who had been underpaid.

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The regulator believed that the worker was underpaid the minimum wage, casual loading, and weekend and public holiday penalty rates between July 2019 to July 2020.

The FWO issued two compliance notices for the worker to be back-paid his entitlements owed under the Restaurant Industry Award 2010 and the Restaurant Industry Award 2020.

Absolute Thai and its director Ronald Nah failed to comply and the FWO took them to court.

The court found in favour of the FWO and ordered Absolute Thai to back-pay the employer their wage, casual loading, as well as weekend and public holiday penalty rates.

A penalty of $16,650 was also levied against the company, and the director who was found to be involved in the contraventions, Mr Nah, was given a $3,330 penalty.

Ruling on the matter, Judge Catherine Symons said there was a need for penalties to deter others from similar conduct.

“The penalty that is imposed must be fixed at a rate which is meaningful and acts as a deterrent so that other companies have a real incentive to comply,” she said.

The FWO also secured a penalty in court against the operators of a Victorian security firm.

The regulator began investigating Pacific Security Services Pty Ltd after it received a request for assistance from an affected worker who had been underpaid.

An FWO inspector believed the security officer had been underpaid minimum wage rates, casual loadings, a vehicle allowance and penalty rates for weekend, public holiday and night work between November 2017 and May 2019.

The company was issued a compliance notice by the regulator in February 2020 that it failed to obey.

Due to this failure the court imposed a $18,900 penalty against the company as well as ordering Pacific Security Services to back-pay the worker his entitlements under the Security Services Industry Award 2010.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said that businesses needed to be aware of the consequences of not following compliance notices. 

“When compliance notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.

FWO secures over $38k in penalties against two Melbourne businesses
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Josh Needs

Josh Needs

AUTHOR

Josh Needs is a journalist at Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, which are the leading sources of news, strategy, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Josh studied journalism at the University of NSW and previously wrote news, feature articles and video reviews for Unsealed 4x4, a specialist offroad motoring website. Since joining the Momentum Media Team in 2022, Josh has written for Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser.

You can email Josh on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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