THE Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the former operators of Kilmore’s Red Lion Brewery.
Facing court is Red Lion Brewery Pty Ltd, which formerly operated the Red Lion Brewery bistro and is no longer trading.
Also facing court is company director Paul Kenneth Hendrie.
The ombudsman commenced an investigation after receiving a request for assistance from a worker employed at Red Lion Brewery as an adult apprentice chef from October 2019 to March 2020, when he was aged 24.
A Fair Work inspector issued a compliance notice to Red Lion Brewery in March 2021 after forming a belief the worker had not been paid entitlements owed under the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010.
The inspector formed a belief the worker was underpaid minimum rates for ordinary hours, weekend and public holiday penalty rates, and annual leave entitlements.
The ombudsman alleges the company, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the compliance notice, which required it to calculate and back-pay the worker’s outstanding entitlements. It is alleged that Mr Hendrie was involved in the contravention.
Fair Work ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests were not complied with.
“Where employers do not comply, we will take appropriate action to protect employees. A court can order a business to pay penalties in addition to back-paying workers,” she said.
“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance.”
The ombudsman is seeking penalties against Red Lion Brewery Pty Ltd and Mr Hendrie. The company faces a maximum penalty of $33,300 and Mr Hendrie faces a maximum penalty of $6660.
The regulator is also seeking an order for the company to comply with the compliance notice, which includes rectifying any underpayment in full, plus interest and superannuation.
A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Melbourne on November 9.
Employers and employees can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for free advice and assistance. An interpreter service is available on 13 14 50. Small businesses can find targeted resources at the smallbusiness.fairwork.gov.au.