Former IGA franchisee faces legal action

A former IGA franchisee faces legal action in the Federal Circuit Court over alleged non-compliance with workplace laws.

The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges S & L Lenz Pty Ltd, the former franchisee of the IGA supermarket in Byford, Perth, failed to follow the requirements of a Compliance Notice to calculate and back-pay an employee’s entitlements.

S & L Lenz Pty Ltd faces a maximum penalty of $33,300.

The regulator is also seeking a court order for the company to take the action required by the issued Compliance Notice, which includes rectifying any underpayments in full, plus superannuation and interest.

The employee was employed on a full-time basis as a manager at the supermarket between April 2013 and January 2020.

In August 2020 a Fair Work Inspector issued a Compliance Notice to S & L Lenz Pty Ltd, believing the company failed to pay the accrued annual leave entitlements and pay in lieu of notice the employee was entitled to under the National Employment Standards when her employment ended.

In line with the FWO’s proportionate approach to regulation during the Covid-19 pandemic, the FWO made several attempts to secure voluntary compliance before commencing legal action.

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.

“Under the Fair Work Act, Compliance Notices are important tools used by inspectors if they form a belief that an employer has breached workplace laws,” Parker said.

“Where employers do not comply with our requests, 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.”

A directions hearing has been listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Perth on 28 January 2021.