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Hospitality employers getting caught for wage theft, overworking staff and falsifying records

The Fair Work Ombudsman has announced a focus on the hospitality industry, as this sector generates a significant number of complaints.
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Hospitality employers getting caught for wage theft, overworking staff and falsifying records

Hospitality employers getting caught for wage theft, overworking staff and falsifying records

6 August 2018

While workplace compliance audits continue across Australia, the Fair Work Ombudsman has announced a focus on the hospitality industry, as this sector generates a significant number of complaints from young and migrant workers. Due to their disadvantaged circumstances, they are a typical target of exploitation – including wage theft, overworking staff and unfair dismissal.

In a recent case, the Fair Work Ombudsman discovered a Gold Coast Pizza Hut franchisee exploiting a young Indian worker under a sham contract and falsifying records. The worker was paid a flat rate of $16 per hour with no penalty rates, which is below the national minimum wage. The ombudsman imposed heavy penalties of over $200,000 against the business.

Audit results in popular food destinations

The key issues the Fair Work Ombudsman is looking for during the audits are underpayments and poor record keeping. This month, audits of 67 hospitality businesses in Glebe, New South Wales found more than two-thirds of them non-compliant with the most common breach being underpayment of hourly rates.

As a result, $188,125 was recovered for 176 employees, leaving many employers with compliance notices, formal cautions and infringement notices.

Other than Glebe, audits have taken place in Richmond, Victoria and Brisbane, Queensland – and your city could be next. Are you ready for an audit?

Preparing for your audit

Your best strategy is to catch any areas of non-compliance in-house and fix them, before the ombudsman comes knocking. Are you compliant in these six areas? 

  1. Minimum wage
  2. Overtime
  3. Penalty rates
  4. Allowances
  5. Record keeping
  6. Pay slip obligations

If you have any questions about your procedures, contact our free advice line for employers on 1300 495 955 and speak to one of our friendly advisors.

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Our services include proactive legal compliance review, 24/7 access to employment relations advice, documentation and awards servicing, employment practices liability insurance and legal representation in the event of a claim.

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