The Fair Work Ombudsman has announced that the operator of a sushi bar paid her staff a “market rate” after doing a ring-around of her competitors to find out what they were paying their employees.

Unfortunately for Sydney businesswoman Joo Young Ju, her flat rate of less than $16.50 an hour prompted one of her workers to complain to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The worker, in Australia on a 417 working holiday visa, was subsequently underpaid more than $5000 for just 11 weeks’ full-time work.

Ms Ju agreed to fully back-pay the employee in a workplace pact she has signed with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Her company Fine Food Gallery Pty Ltd operates Sushi Izu franchise outlets inside Woolworths supermarkets at Double Bay and at Town Hall in the Sydney CBD.

As well as short-changing the backpacker between December 2013 and February 2014, Ms Ju underpaid his annual leave entitlements.

However, given Fine Food Gallery has no prior complaints history and Ms Ju co-operated fully with Fair Work inspectors, an Enforceable Undertaking was offered as an alternative to litigation.

The company has given a commitment to ensure future compliance with its workplace obligations under Commonwealth laws.

It will undertake workplace relations training, self-auditing of employee wages and entitlements and register with the Fair Work Ombudsman’s online self-help tool My Account.

The company also agreed to display workplace notices detailing its contraventions and make a written apology to the affected former worker.