Melbourne bakery fined $16,500 for underpayments

Posted by James Ferre on 1st April 2009

A Melbourne bakery has been fined $16,500 in the Melbourne Magistrates Court for underpaying four former employees a total of $12,000.The penalty follows legal action launched by the Federal Workplace Ombudsman against Timryl Pty Ltd, which trades as the Universal Bread and Roll Bakery at Tullamarine.

Workplace Ombudsman Executive Director Michael Campbell reported that inspectors began investigating Timryl after receiving complaints from former employees.

Mr Campbell said Timryl underpaid the night shift penalty rates of three drivers employed to deliver bread products from its bakery to schools, catering companies, restaurants, hotels, nursing homes and other sites throughout Melbourne in the early hours of the morning.

Inspectors assessed that the total underpayment of the drivers was just over $11,000, with underpayments of individual drivers of $2236, $2722 and $6154. The underpayments occurred between 2004 and 2006.

The Workplace Ombudsman told the Court that Timryl had also underpaid an accounts assistant employed for a brief period in 2005 a total of $911 in wages and annual leave.

Legal proceedings against the company commenced early last year after the company repeatedly ignored inspectors’ requests to back-pay the workers.

Timryl has now back-paid the accounts assistant all money owed and has reimbursed the drivers more than $4000. The Workplace Ombudsman is working to secure payments still outstanding.

Mr Campbell said the penalty should serve as a warning to other employers that underpayment of workers would not be tolerated.