Han’s Cafe work­ers un­der­paid

Weekend Courier - - Front Page - Vanessa Sch­mitt

HAN’S Cafe fran­chisee in Rock­ing­ham has been fined for un­der­pay­ing work­ers.

The penal­ties were the re­sult of the Fair Work Om­buds­man (FWO) tak­ing le­gal ac­tion in re­sponse to 22 staff be­ing un­der­paid $27,920.

Tac Pham Pty Ltd has been pe­nalised $37,500 for un­der­pay­ments at the Rock­ing­ham out­let.

In ad­di­tion, the gen­eral man­ager of the Rock­ing­ham out­let, Cuc Thi Thu Pham, was pe­nalised $7500 for her role in the non-com­pli­ance at that out­let.

The penal­ties were im­posed in the Fed­eral Court in Perth.

The un­der­pay­ments oc­curred at var­i­ous times be­tween De­cem­ber 2014 and De­cem­ber 2015.

The un­der­paid em­ploy­ees in­cluded nine ju­niors aged be­tween 17 and 19 and seven over­seas work­ers, mostly in­ter­na­tional stu­dents from Viet­nam.

Most of the un­der­paid work­ers were em­ployed as kitchen at­ten­dants, cooks and food-and­bev­er­age at­ten­dants.

Staff were paid flat rates be­low the min­i­mums in the Restau­rant In­dus­try Award 2010. Pay slip laws were also con­tra­vened. All work­ers were back­paid in full last year.

The un­der­pay­ments oc­curred de­spite the Fair Work Om­buds­man ad­vis­ing Mrs Pham and Tac Pham Pty Ltd in 2013 about min­i­mum law­ful Award wage rates.

Jus­tice An­thony Ni­cholas Siopis found that Mrs Pham’s lack of English flu­ency and al­leged lack of com­pre­hen­sion of the ad­vice pro­vided by the Fair Work Om­buds­man were not sat­is­fac­tory ex­pla­na­tions for the un­der­pay­ments.

“It was also open to (Mrs Pham) if she was not able fully to un­der­stand the con­tent or grava­men of her deal­ings with the FWO in 2013, to have ob­tained pro­fes­sional ad­vice on this is­sue,” he said.

He found that Mrs Pham “sim­ply chose to dis­re­gard her deal­ings with the FWO in Novem­ber 2013 and con­tin­ued to op­er­ate the de­fec­tive wages pay­ment sys­tem which she had in­her­ited, reck­lessly in­dif­fer­ent as to whether she was, thereby, com­pli­ant with the Restau­rant Award con­di­tions”.

Tac Pham and Phua and Foo Pty Ltd were or­dered to train staff in work­place re­la­tions.

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