Ue Sushi director jailed for underpaying staff

The director of Hong Kong restaurant Ue Sushi has been jailed for two months for not paying staff.

The incarceration follows a successful prosecution brought by the Labour Department for committing wage offences and defaulting on the sums awarded by the Labour Tribunal (LT) under the Employment Ordinance (EO). The defendents – the restaurant and the director – pleaded guilty earlier at Kowloon City Magistrates’ Courts and the company was fined $105,000. The director was sentenced to two months’ immediate imprisonment on Tuesday (April 18).

The Labour Department said the company failed to pay wages to four employees within seven days after the expiry of the wage periods and termination of employment, as required by the EO. Also, the company failed to pay these employees the awarded sum of about $306,000 in total within 14 days after the payment date specified in the LT award.

The director was convicted for his consent, connivance or neglect in the above offences.

“The judgment will disseminate a strong message to all responsible officers of limited companies, that they have to pay wages to employees in accordance with the EO and the awarded sums according to the terms of the awards issued by the LT,” a spokesman for the Labour Department said.

“The Labour Department will not tolerate these offences and will spare no effort in enforcing the law and safeguarding employees’ statutory rights,” the spokesman added.

Ue Sushi has several outlets around Hong Kong. It is not clear from the Labour Department’s statement whether this was an individual restaurant, or the parent company.

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