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Melbourne restaurant faces Court over failure to respond to back payment of Indian visa-holders

The former operator of an Indian restaurant in Melbourne, is facing Court for allegedly failing to respond to a back-pay request of thousands of dolla
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Melbourne restaurant faces Court over failure to respond to back payment of Indian visa-holders

19 May 2016

The former operator of an Indian restaurant in Melbourne, is facing Court for allegedly failing to respond to a back-pay request of thousands of dollars to two former employees.

The Fair Work Ombudsman commenced legal action as two Indian national visa-holders studying in Australia, were short-changed more than $8000 for work they performed at the restaurant between October 2014 and January 2015.

It is alleged the two employees were paid a flat rate of $12 an hour for waiting on tables and did not receive penalties when working on weekends, nights and public holidays.

The Fair Work Ombudsman issued a Compliance in October last year requiring the underpayment to be rectified, which was not.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the alleged underpayment was significant due to the short timeframe in which it occurred.

She says "we will always look to work with employers to resolve issues co-operatively and voluntarily where we can, but we take a dim view of employers who do not engage with us and deliberately ignore us and their workplace obligations." 

The employer's lack of initiative to respond to the Compliance Notice and the involvement of vulnerable overseas workers were factors in the Agency's decision to litigate. The company now faces a penalty up to $51,000.

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