• Monday, June 17, 2024

News

Australia: Bakery operators fined for exploiting ‘vulnerable’ migrant worker from India

Australia’s Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) secured court penalties worth $60,480 against operators of Bakers Boutique & Patisserie retail bakery outlets after court said they took advantage of the worker.

Representational Image (iStock)

By: Shubham Ghosh

Australia’s Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has secured court penalties worth $60,480 against operators of Bakers Boutique & Patisserie retail bakery outlets after court said they took advantage of a vulnerable migrant worker, The Australia Today reported.

FWO is an independent government agency which helps employers and employees understand their rights and responsibilities under Australian workplace laws,

According to the report, the Federal Circuit and Family Court imposed a penalty $50,400 against Gothic Downs Pty Ltd, which operates the outlets in various shopping centres in the city of Melbourne and $10,080 penalty against Giuseppe Conforto, the company’s sole director.

The Australia Today further added that the penalties were further imposed in response to Gothic Downs not being able to comply with Compliance Notices seeking it to calculate and back-pay entitlements to two workers it employed at Bakers Boutique & Patisserie outlets in Meadow Heights and Caroline Springs between 2016 and 2018. Conforto was allegedly involved in the contraventions, it was reported.

The report added that after the FWO commenced legal action, the company and Conforto back-paid the workers $30,107 only.

One of the workers was reportedly a visa holder from India.

According to FWO Sandra Parker, business operators that are unable to act on Compliance Notices, need to know that they can face penalties in court besides 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,” Parker was quoted as saying by The Australia Today.

“Employers also need to be aware that taking action to protect vulnerable workers like visa holders continues to be a priority for the FWO. Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”

The FWO probed after getting requests for help from the two affected workers — a pastry cook and sales assistant.

Judge Heather Riley inferred that the Indian, who was sponsored by Gothic Downs on a Temporary Work Skilled visa, was “vulnerable” and both Conforto and the company “took advantage of her vulnerability”.

Riley found that the breaches were deliberate and rejected the claim made by the company and Conforto that they were confused about the amount that was owing to the workers, the report added.

Related Stories

Loading