Milk bar operators in court

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operators of a milk bar in Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula area.

Facing court are Double Hao International Pty Ltd, which operates ‘The Springs Milkbar’ at Clifton Springs, and company director Rong Liu.

The regulator began an investigation after receiving a request for assistance from a worker employed by Double Hao International as a retail worker between March 2018 and November 2020.

A Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to Double Hao International in August 2021 after forming a belief that the worker had been underpaid minimum casual wages and loadings under General Retail Industry Award 2010 and the General Retail Industry Award 2020.

The FWO alleges Double Hao International, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with the Compliance Notice, which required it to calculate and back-pay the worker’s entitlements. It is alleged Mr Liu was involved in the contravention.

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.”

“Any employees with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for free assistance,” Ms Parker said.

The FWO is seeking penalties against Double Hao International Pty Ltd and Mr Liu for allegedly failing to comply with the Compliance Notice.

The maximum penalty for the company is $33,300 and the maximum penalty for Mr Liu is $6,660.

The regulator is also seeking an order for Double Hao International Pty Ltd to comply with the Compliance Notices, which includes rectifying any underpayments in full, plus interest and superannuation.

The matter is before the Federal Circuit and Family Court in Melbourne.

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