Cupcake retailer accused of underpaying workers

Cupcake retailer accused of underpaying workers

A Melbourne cupcake retailer will face court accused of underpaying workers over an 11-month period.

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) alleges Little Cupcakes, which has stores in Degraves, William, and Queen Streets as well as a baking facility at Armadale, owes 35 staff a total of $57,179.69.

The popular cake store came to the attention of the FWO during unannounced visits to the popular Degraves Street and Hardware Lane dining precincts in 2018.

The FWO has commenced legal action in the Federal Court circuits against Shri Krishna Guru Pty Ltd, which operates the stores and bakery, with company director Shreyansh Dharmesh Shah to face court.

Many of the allegedly underpaid workers were visa holders and 10 were under 21 years of age.

Leave loadings, minimum-engagement pay, minimum hourly rates and loadings for weekend, public holiday, evening and overtime work account for some of the underpayments, with employees individually owed amounts ranging from $20 to $10,000.

The underpayments have been settled, but the matter of workplace contraventions will be heard in court on July 31. If proven, the company faces penalties up to $63,000 per contravention and Shah faces penalties up to $12,600 per contravention.

FWO Sandra Parker says Fair Work will continue to crack down on businesses over the coming months.

“We will continue to enforce workplace laws in a proportionate manner during the COVID-19 pandemic, and hold employers to account in order to protect employees,” says Parker.

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