$67,000 underpayments alleged for a Han’s Cafe outlet

A franchisee of the Han’s Caf_ chain in Perth is once again the focus of a Fair Work legal action that alleges staff were underpaid more than $67,000.

Facing the Federal Court in Perth is Phua and Foo Pty Ltd, the franchisee of the Han’s Caf_ outlet located at Jull Street, Armadale.

It is alleged that 27 employees at the Armadale Han’s Caf_ outlet were underpaid a total of $67,161.51 over a nine-month period between December 2014 and September 2015.

Fair Work Ombudsman inspectors checked the books of the Armadale Han’s Caf_ outlet as part of a proactive auditing campaign in Perth’s south.

Inspectors allegedly found that 27 employees at the outlet, including one junior aged 18-19, were paid flat rates which were below the minimums in the Restaurant Industry Award 2010.

The FWO alleges this resulted in the employees being underpaid their minimum rate entitlements for ordinary hours, casual loadings and weekend penalty rates under the Restaurant Industry Award 2010.

The workers were back-paid in full earlier this year.

Phua and Foo Pty Ltd faces penalties of up to $54,000 per contravention – and the Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a Court order for the company to commission workplace relations training for managerial staff.

The legal action comes after the FWO earlier this year secured $37,500 in penalties in Court against the operator of the Han’s Caf_ chain, Tram Hoang Han, and two associated companies for record-keeping practices that were so poor they prevented the Fair Work Ombudsman from determining the full extent of underpayments of vulnerable overseas workers.

The FWO also alleged recently that another franchisee in the Han’s Caf_ network underpaid staff more than $27,000.

“The public are demanding greater transparency and accountability by well-known franchise brands,” Natalie James said.

“Responsible franchise service networks should put in place systems to promote compliance with workplace laws and ensure that employees in their network receive their lawful entitlements. The Fair Work Ombudsman will work with franchisors and the franchising sector to ensure those that want to do the right thing by their workers are supported to do so.”