The operator of a popular restaurant chain in Perth is facing legal action after allegedly underpaying overseas workers more than $30,000.
Tram Hoang Han controls the Han’s Café franchise and owns two restaurants. Three companies of which she is the sole director are also facing legal proceedings: Hans Investments Pty Ltd, Han’s Café Management Pty Ltd and Han’s Café Pty Ltd.
The legal action taken by the Fair Work Ombudsman relates to outlets Han is involved in operating at Forrest Chase in the CBD as well as restaurants she previously ran in Subiaco, Hillarys and Midland.
According to the Ombudsman, Han’s neglect to keep time and wage records for an adequate period (two to four weeks instead of the required seven years) hindered its ability to quantify and pursue enforcement outcomes for underpaid wages and entitlements.
Despite this, Fair Work was able to calculate that 100 employees across four restaurants were underpaid more than $30,000 as a result of being shortchanged their minimum hourly rate.
The workers – including international students, 417 working holiday visa holders and 457 skilled worker visa holders – were backpaid by late last year, however the Ombudsman is concerned that Han’s outlets had a standard practice to pay low, flat rates and failed to pay penalties for weekend, overtime and evening work.
Han faces penalties of up to $5,100 per contravention and the companies face penalties of up to $25,500 per contravention.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking an injunction restraining Han from being involved in any record-keeping contraventions in future. If granted, Han could potentially face contempt of court proceedings for any further record-keeping contraventions.