Pizza Hut ex-franchisee fined $28,000

Pizza Hut ex-franchisee court
The Pizza Hut ex-franchisee fined for failure to comply with employment law.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a $28,021 penalty in court against the former operator of a Pizza Hut outlet in south-east Queensland.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court has imposed the penalty against IFITS Food Co Pty Ltd, which was the franchisee for the outlet located on Albion Street, in Warwick, until the company ceased operating the outlet in late 2021.

IFITS Food Co had failed to comply with Compliance Notices requiring it to calculate and back-pay entitlements to two part-time workers at the Warwick Pizza Hut outlet, between March 2020 to October 2021.

One worker was an assistant manager, the other a 17-year-old employed as a kitchen hand and in a customer service role.

In addition to the penalty, the Court has ordered IFITS Food Co to back-pay the workers in full, plus applicable superannuation applying to one worker and interest for both.

Fair Work Ombudsman Anna Booth said business operators that fail to act on Compliance Notices need to be aware they can face penalties in court on top of having to back-pay workers.

“When Compliance Notices are not followed, we are prepared to take legal action to ensure workers receive all their lawful entitlements,” Booth said.

“Employers also need to be aware that taking action to protect young workers and improve compliance in the fast food, restaurant and café sector are among our top priorities. Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact us for free advice and assistance.”

The FWO investigated and believed the franchisee failed to pay the workers’ accrued but untaken annual leave entitlements at the end of their employment, owed under the Fair Work Act’s National Employment Standards.

The Fair Work Inspector also believed the franchisee did not pay payment-in-lieu-of-notice-of-termination entitlements, owed under the Fast Food Industry Award 2010.