The Fair Work Ombudsman is taking a former Pizza Hut franchisee in south-east Queensland to court.
IFITS Food Co Pty Ltd was the franchisee for Albion St, in Warwick, until the company ceased operating the outlet in late 2021.
A Fair Work Inspector issued Compliance Notices to IFITS Food Co in February and April 2022. The regulator was investigating claims from two workers employed at the outlet in part-time roles between March 2020 to October 2021.
One staff member was an assistant manager and the other, aged 17 at the time, held a customer service role.
FWO alleges Pizza Hut ex-franchisee failed to pay some entitlements
The FW inspector believed the workers were not paid their annual leave entitlements when they ended their employment.
It also alleges IFITS Food Co failed to pay the young worker payment-in-lieu-of-notice of termination entitlements.
The FWO alleges IFITS failed to calculate and back-pay the workers’ entitlements as outlined in the Compliance Notices.
The FWO is seeking penalties in court for an alleged failure to comply with two Compliance Notices. IFITS Food Co faces a penalty of up to $33,300 per contravention.
The regulator is also seeking an order for IFITS Food Co to take steps set out in the Compliance Notices, including rectifying the alleged underpayments in full, plus interest and superannuation. A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Brisbane on 13 December 2022.
FWO points out that Pizza Hut Warwick now has new operators, and there are no allegations against the current franchisees.
Employers may face penalties on top of back-payments
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the regulator would continue to enforce workplace laws and take businesses to court where lawful requests are 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.”
Small businesses can find targeted resources at the Small Business Showcase. There is more specific information available at Fair Work’s fast food, restaurants & cafés, young workers & students and franchises pages.
Read more about Fair Work action with franchise brands.