The Fair Work Ombudsman has announced legal action against the operators of the 7-Eleven fuel outlet at 508 Vulture Street, East Brisbane, for allegedly underpaying two employees - both international students from India aged in their mid-20s - a total of $5593 over a five-month period in 2014.
Facing legal proceedings are the outlet's manager and part-owner Avinash Pratap Singh and a company he is a director of, S & A Enterprises.
The Fair Work Ombudsman conducted inquiries following media coverage relating to the outlet in 2015 and received a request for assistance from one of the employees.
It is alleged that Singh and S & A Enterprises paid flat hourly rates as low as $15 an hour, resulting in underpayment of minimum hourly rates, overtime rates, casual loadings and penalty rates for weekend and public holiday work.
Singh and the company allegedly also created false employment records when making false entries into the 7-Eleven head office payroll system.
Singh and the company allegedly also knowingly provided false time-and-wage records to the Fair Work Ombudsman. The false records allegedly misstated the hours of work and rates of pay, which had the effect of concealing the alleged underpayment of the employees. The alleged underpayments have now been rectified.
Singh and the company allegedly also contravened workplace laws by failing to fully comply with two Notices to Produce issued by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Singh faces maximum penalties of up to $10,200 per contravention and S & A Enterprises up to $51,000. A directions hearing is listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Brisbane on February 6, 2017.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking Court Orders for S & A Enterprises to commission an audit of its compliance with workplace laws and to report the results to the Fair Work Ombudsman and promptly resolve any non-compliance issues discovered.
In addition, the Fair Work Ombudsman is seeking a Court order for the company to display an in-store notice informing employees of entitlements.
The legal action against Singh and S & A Enterprises is the latest of a string of compliance actions by the Fair Work Ombudsman aimed at addressing systemic non-compliance within the 7-Eleven network.
The matter takes to nine the number of 7-Eleven operators the Fair Work Ombudsman has taken legal action against since 2009.
Earlier this year, the Fair Work Ombudsman secured record penalties of more than $400,000 in a legal action against one Brisbane 7-Eleven operator and announced legal proceedings against the operators of three other 7-Eleven outlets in Brisbane.
Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support