The operator of two sandwich outlets in Adelaide is facing court for ignoring Compliance Notices from the Fair Work Ombudsman and for failing to produce documents as requested. If found guilty the business is facing $96,000 in fines and the Directors a further $6,600.
The business was contacted by Fair Work following a complaint by staff. A Fair Work Inspector issued four separate Compliance Notices to the two businesses (operated by a shared director) seeking the production of documents to allow investigation into the claim that underpayments of wages and entitlements had occurred.
The FWO will allege at court that the businesses provided no reason as to why they were not responding to the Compliance Notices or why they were not producing the information requested and that as such they are in breach of the Act.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are not complied with.
“Compliance Notices are important tools used by inspectors to deal with apparent contraventions of the Fair Work Act or industrial instruments, most typically Modern Awards,” Ms Parker said.
“Where employers do not respond to or comply with these Notices, we will take appropriate enforcement action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties for not complying with such a Notice, in addition to back-paying workers as appropriate. Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free assistance.” continued Ms Parker.
ACAPMA Members are reminded that it is in the businesses best interest to engage positively and proactively with the Fair Work Inspectors.
“If an issue is identified and the business is open and committed to rectification the Fair Work Ombudsman is typically supportive, however ignoring Notices, will, rather predictably, result in antagonizing the regulator and a summons to court” outlined Elisha Radwanowski, Executive Manager for Employment and Training, ACAPMA.
“Like all compliance situations, errors, oversights and misunderstandings occur, and regular review and a clear openness to working with the regulator to correct any identified issues, are the tools for long term success” concluded Elisha.
For more information on this particular case see; https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2021-media-releases/april-2021/20210413-subway-litigation-media-release
Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM &IR)
Executive Manager Employment and Training