The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has recovered $189,316 in wages for 306 underpaid workers after it investigated employers in a ‘cheap eats’ food precinct in Adelaide.
FWO conducted the investigation across 58 businesses in Australia and found that 83% of the targeted employers did not comply with workplace laws.
Businesses for the investigations were selected on the basis of their risk of breaching workplace laws, with the factors considered being a history of non-compliance with the FWO, being the subject of anonymous tip-offs to the regulator, or employing migrant workers who can be vulnerable to exploitation.
As a result of the investigation, FWO found that out of the 48 to have breached the workplace rules, 42 has been underpaying their workers, while 24 had failed to meet pay slip and record-keeping requirements.
Commenting on the investigation, FWO CEO Sandra Parker said, “It is disappointing to consistently find high rates of non-compliance in the fast food, restaurant and cafés sector. Employers can’t pick and choose which wage laws they follow and those doing the wrong thing are being found out. Protecting vulnerable workers such as visa holders and improving compliance in the sector are ongoing priorities for the Fair Work Ombudsman.”
Parker asserted that employers are expected to comply with the rules laid down by the Government. She also urged the employees to reach out to FWO in case of underpayment or any other case of workplace regulation breach.
In response to the breaches, the FWO issued 43 Compliance Notices to 41 businesses, recovering $188,548 for 301 workers. There were 31 Infringement Notices issued for pay slips and record-keeping breaches, resulting in $31,296 in fines paid. One business remains under investigation.