Restaurant owner to face court over alleged underpayments

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 14th October 2008

A restaurant owner who paid a full-time employee just $9650 for 18 months work will face the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court.The federal Workplace Ombudsman has commenced legal proceedings against Poh Meng Hong for allegedly underpaying staff at his former Malaysian restaurant at Box Hill.

The restaurant, which was known as Kayu@Boxhill, no longer operates.

However, the Workplace Ombudsman claims one former staffer who received just $9650 for 18 months’ full-time work there is still owed $88,000 in back-pay.

Documents filed in the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court alleged Hong underpaid 14 of his employees – including a 457 visa holder – around $125,000.

Workplace Ombudsman Victorian director Paul Werner says while a part payment of $25,000 has been made, some $96,000 remains outstanding.

Prosecution of Hong, a director of Penang Kayu Nasi Kander Pty Ltd, has been intiated for his involvement in breaches of both the Liquor and Accommodation Industry (Restaurants) Victoria Award and the Australian Fair Pay and Classifications Standard.

If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of $33,000 per breach.