Indian restaurant operator in Sydney facing court for failing to pay “compensation” to sacked cook

29 March 2019: The operator of an Indian restaurant in Sydney is facing double trouble for failing to pay “compensation” to a cook who was “unfairly dismissed” in March last year.

Dharma Reddy Gummi and his company, Indian Food Catering Pty Ltd, allegedly failed to comply with Fair Work Commission’s order to pay “$18,000 minus tax in compensation to the former employee”.

The sacked worker was an Indian national who had been on a skilled 457 visa and was on a bridging visa at the time of his dismissal, Fair Work Commission said today.

According to the national workplace relations tribunal, the Indian Food Catering Pty Ltd had unfairly dismissed the cook last year at its Amritsari Dhaba restaurant in western Sydney.

The Indian national had apparently commenced his employment at the restaurant in 2016. In March 2018, he was dismissed by email effective immediately.

Although the Fair Work Commission had ordered the operator to pay compensation through six monthly installments between September 2018 and February this year, the company allegedly paid only $3,750 in total prompting the tribunal to take follow-up action.

It is alleged that Mr Gummi and his company have breached the Fair Work Act by failing to comply with the Fair Work Commission’s order.

Mr Gummi and his company now face the prospect of having to pay not only the compensation ($18,000 minus tax) but also heavy penalties of up to $75,600 (up to $63,000 for the company and up to $12,600 for Mr Gummi).

“It is fundamental for the integrity of the workplace relations system that orders are complied with, and we will take legal action to ensure employees receive compensation,” Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said in a press statement today.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has already commenced legal action against Dharma Reddy Gummi and his company.

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