The operator of a Gold Coast pizza shop is being prosecuted for the alleged serially underpaying 27 employees a total of almost $20,000.
Facing court are Scot Stuart Murphy and his private company VS Investment Group Pty Ltd.
Through his company, Murphy owns and operates Mondo Pizza at Surfers Paradise. It is alleged the 27 staff were underpaid a total of $19,093 between December 2009 and October 2010.
The employees were aged from 20 to 37 at the time and several were from non-English-speaking backgrounds.
They were variously employed as cooks, kitchen-hands, customer service attendants and delivery drivers.
ONE WORKER OWED $2,313
The employees were allegedly underpaid their minimum hourly rates, overtime rates and weekend penalty rates. One employee was allegedly underpaid evening work allowances.
The largest alleged underpayment of an individual employee is $2,313.
It is alleged Murphy was also involved in his company failing to comply with a Notice to Produce documents issued by Fair Work inspectors during their investigation.
Under the Fair Work Act 2009, employers must comply with requests from the Fair Work Ombudsman to provide employment records relating to employees and former employees.
Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson said the decision to prosecute was made because of the involvement of vulnerable workers and the employer’s failure to rectify the matter.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges Murphy was involved in VS Investment Group committing several breaches of workplace laws. The maximum potential penalty per breach is $6,600 for Murphy and $33,000 for his company.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a court order for the company to rectify the alleged underpayment of the employees.
Claire Harrison is the Founder and Managing Director of Harrison Human Resources, a flourishing HR consulting business that sprouted in 2009 from Claire’s passionate belief that inspiring leaders and superstar employees are the key success factor to any business. With over 20 years’ experience, Claire has worked as a HR Director of multi-national organisations, as a Non-Executive Board Director, and a small business owner. Claire’s corporate career includes working with companies such as BHP, Westpac, Fonterra and Mayne Nickless.