The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured penalties against the head company of the Yogurberry chain for underpaying workers at the World Square Yogurberry outlet between July 2014 and May 2015 in an unprecedented first in using accessorial liability provisions. The workers were paid as little as $8 per hour totalling underpayments of $17,827 in breach of employment law.
Yogurberry World Square was fined $75,000 for breaches of workplace law including failing to pay the workers on 417 visas the minimum rates of pay, casual loading, penalty rates and for failing to provide adequate records and provide pay slips.
The master franchisor YBF Australia was also fined $25,000 and payroll company CL group $35,000 as they ‘had knowledge of, and participated in establishing rates of pay, making payment of wages, determining hours of work, and dealing with employment-related matters’.
Justice Flick’s orders under the Fair Work Act required the Yogurberry chain to engage an independent auditor for a period of 6 months in addition to mandatory training for the group’s directors and officers.
Tips for Employers
It is important for employers to:
- know the requirements under the Fast Food Industry Award such as minimum rates of pay
- revise your business model to comply with the Fair Work Act and the Fair Work Regulations
- be aware of your immigration law obligations to 417 visa holders who are employed by you
- maintain adequate book records and issue pay slips
- disclose appropriate information to the Fair Work Ombudsman as withholding may result in harsh penalties and serious punishment
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DISCLAIMER: This article is provided to clients and readers for their general information and on a complimentary basis. It contains a brief summary only and should not be relied upon or used as definitive or complete statement of the relevant workplace law.