Chatime ex-franchisee faces legal action

A Chatime former franchisee is in trouble for alleged staff underpayments
A Chatime former franchisee is in trouble for alleged staff underpayments

A former Chatime bubble tea franchisee and its directors could face penalties for alleged workers underpayments of more than $46,000.

Panol DC Pty Ltd operated the Chatime Cinema City outlet in the Sydney CBD. Now the company is facing fines of up to $63,000 per contravention.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is taking legal action against the company and its two directors. Carlo Benjamin Dela Cruz and Leiden Emmanuel Panol could face penalties of up to $12,600 for each breach.

Chatime ex-franchisee breaches

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges 17 employees at Chatime Cinema City were underpaid ordinary hourly rates, casual loading and clothing allowances.

Public holiday penalty rates were allegedly also underpaid.

The FWO  wants the franchisee to back-pay the employees in full.

The FWO also alleges Panol DC Pty Ltd and Mr Panol breached record-keeping laws.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said inspectors discovered the alleged underpayments during proactive audits.

“Enforcing workplace laws in the fast food sector continues to be a priority for the Fair Work Ombudsman, and we are investigating compliance levels in both established and emerging franchise chains across Australia.

“All franchise outlets are on notice that they must pay staff lawful minimum pay rates and franchisors should take responsibility for ensuring that their franchisees comply with the law,” Parker said.

FWO wants the company to display a workplace notice about workplace laws. It also wants the directors to register with the My account portal at and complete workplace relations training.

A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney on 3 May 2019.