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Former Crust pizza franchisee penalised for underpaying staff

Fair Work Ombudsman Source: SBS

A former fast food franchisee and a director have been fined for underpaying workers in Victoria from non-English speaking backgrounds.

A former fast food franchisee and a director have been fined for underpaying workers in Victoria from non-English speaking backgrounds.

Desire Food Pty Ltd, which formerly operated the Cheltenham Crust outlet, has been penalised $63,500 and company director and part-owner Chern Ming “Rick” Lee, who managed the outlet, has been penalised a further $11,900, in the Federal Circuit Court.

Six of the seven employees were delivery drivers or pizza makers on VISAs and were underpaid a total of $35,725.

Desire Food and Mr Lee no longer own the Crust Cheltenham store. The Fair Work Ombudsman makes no allegations against the current owner.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said that if employers unlawfully underpay migrant workers, they risk serious consequences including court action and penalties.

“All employees have the right to be paid the lawful minimum pay rates that apply in Australia, regardless of their visa status. Taking enforcement action to protect vulnerable workers and improve compliance in the fast food industry are priorities for the Fair Work Ombudsman.”

“Any workers with concerns about their pay or entitlements should contact the Fair Work Ombudsman. We have an agreement with the Department of Home Affairs where workers can contact us for assistance without fear of their visa being cancelled,” Ms Parker said.

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