The owners of a Coffee Club café franchise have been fined more than $180,000 for taking advantage of a desperate 457 skilled visa worker who they first refused to pay and then forced to hand back $18,000 under threat of ending his sponsorship.
The Federal Circuit Court has ordered a company to pay more than $7,000 in unpaid wages and super to a student visa holder after hearing evidence of a deliberate scheme to exploit young international students working in Australia.
An FWC full bench will next month deal with an attempt by the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union to intervene in a bid to terminate the 2011 Coles Supermarkets agreement, before a 10-day hearing of the substantive case in October.
A Senate inquiry's largely bipartisan support for the Turnbull Government's Protecting Vulnerable Workers Bill is a "striking indication" of how far the debate on the issue has advanced, according to Adelaide University Professor of Law, Andrew Stewart.
The Federal Court has refused an application by a company to be represented by its operations manager rather than a lawyer, ruling that the manager lacked "the necessary degree of objectivity and skill" required to conduct the case.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says low penalties are creating a "perverse incentive" for a "dangerous minority" of employers to use inaccurate or incomplete records to conceal underpayments, forcing the watchdog to use novel, labour-intensive strategies to piece together employees' working hours.