Owner to face hearing on pay

ALLEGATIONS that an Albury fish and chip shop underpaid three workers more than $60,000 are close to being heard.

The Fair Work Ombudsman first revealed a year ago that it was taking the owners of the now-closed Thurgoona Takeaway to court.

An ombudsman spokesman said yesterday the matter would be next listed for hearing in the Federal Circuit Court on Monday.

Although likely to be just a mention, a more substantive hearing date is expected soon.

The case was first listed in the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney last June 3, with another mention of the matter on March 21.

The spokesman was not able to detail why the case had taken so long to be heard.

“The allegations we are making in the case are broadly in line with what we stated when we commenced the case last year,” he said.

The ombudsman’s legal action has been taken against Barry Scott Distributors Pty Ltd, which operated Thurgoona Takeaway, and its sole director, Ian Andrews.

It has been alleged three staff were employed at the shop on a flat rate of pay that did not cover allowances, including penalty rates.

The company had also failed to pay overtime.

The allegations were made as a result of complaints made by staff, who the ombudsman estimates have been underpaid a total of $62,514.

That amount comprises overtime, weekend penalty rates and holiday loadings.

The ombudsman has also alleged the company and Mr Andrews failed to make superannuation payments of more than $7000 for the three staff, while also failing to keep records as required by the Fair Work Act.

Hefty penalties apply if Mr Andrews and the company are found guilty.

Mr Andrews and his wife, Dianne, also sub-leased a Lavington roadhouse that shut its doors suddenly in February.

At the time, staff of the Rim and Wheel Diner claimed they were owed thousands of dollars in unpaid superannuation, leave and wages when the restaurant closed.