The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured court orders for more than $31,000 in penalties and back-pay against the former director of two Subway outlets in Adelaide.
The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed $5,425 in penalties against Jason Matthew Hood, who was a director of two companies that formerly operated Subway franchise outlets on Jetty Road in Glenelg and the Bayside Village Shopping Centre in Glenelg.
The penalties were imposed in response to Mr Hood’s involvement in failing to comply with Compliance Notices requiring back-payment of entitlements to three workers who had been employed at the outlets for various periods between August 2017 and October 2019.
In addition, the Court has ordered Mr Hood to back-pay the workers a total of $25,597.
Most of the back-pay order relates to one of the workers, who is owed $22,247. The two other employees, young workers aged 17 and 18 when they commenced employment, are owed amounts of $1,750 and $1,600 respectively.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said company directors involved in failing to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face penalties in court on top of having to back-pay workers.
“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive their lawful entitlements,” Ms Parker said.
“Employers also need to be aware that taking action to protect vulnerable employees, such as young workers, and improve compliance in the fast food, restaurant and café sector continue to be priorities for the FWO. Any workers with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for advice and assistance.”
The FWO investigated after receiving requests for assistance from the affected workers.
Compliance Notices were issued in September 2020 after a Fair Work Inspector formed a belief that the workers had been underpaid entitlements under the Fast Food Industry Award 2010, including minimum rates for ordinary hours, casual loadings, penalties, a special clothing allowance and annual leave entitlements on termination of employment.
Judge Stewart Brown found that workers in the fast food industry are “vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous employers due to the nature of their work and the hours required of them” and that there was a need to impose penalties to deter others from similar conduct.
“The specific objectives of the Compliance Notice system must be supported and a general message sent as to the need for prompt and complete compliance to them,” Judge Brown said.