The Fair Work Ombudsman has fined a Melbourne bakery $60,000 for breaches of workplace laws.
The bakery’s manager and part-owner was penalised for his involvement in underpaying and threatening to dismiss a female clerical assistant at the bakery unless she agreed to deductions from her pay.
Judge Grant Riethmuller ordered the penalty be paid within 60 days and that part be paid to the employee to rectify $2358 in superannuation funds owed to her.
It is the second time Fair Work Ombudsman legal action has resulted in court-issued penalties for breaches of workplace laws at the bakery.
“A long history of complaints about the business and non-compliance indicates that, at best, the business takes a reckless attitude to employee entitlements and, at worst, sets out to take advantage of those in need of employment, who are working in positions where they are least likely to have the skills and support necessary to ensure their workplace rights are enjoyed by them,” Judge Riethmuller said.
“This could not be said to be a case where the employer had simply overlooked, or even negligently failed to ensure their obligations to the employee were fulfilled. It is difficult not to conclude the employer’s attitude in this case was simply cavalier, if not exploitative.”
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says while her agency’s first approach is to work co-operatively with employers to assist them to resolve issues voluntarily, it will not tolerate repeated, flagrant contraventions.
“Successful legal actions such as this help employers who are complying with workplace laws by ensuring a level playing field,” she said.
Employers and employees seeking assistance can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. A free interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50.