Three Meatball and Wine Bar outlets in Melbourne have been penalised for stealing money from its staff, in what is further evidence of rampant wage theft in the hospitality industry,
The restaurants admitted underpaying 26 workers a total of $14,149 over three months in 2016.
Workers paid flat rates
The waiters and kitchen hands were paid flat rates of between $17.31 and $21.69 an hour, which meant they missed out on loadings and penalties for night, weekend and public holiday work.
Among the workers were 11 visa holders on student or working holiday visas.
The Federal Circuit Court imposed penalties of $31,320 against the operators of the restaurants.
Wage theft rampant in hospitality
Industrial relations expert Miles Heffernan from WAGETHEFT.net.au said he wasn’t surprised by the case.
“Wage theft is currently rampant in the hospitality industry,” he said.
“Every time the Fair Work Ombudsman conducts an audit of restaurants or cafes, no matter where, they always find that more than half of businesses are breaking workplace laws.
“It is too easy for bosses to get away with stealing their workers’ wages – which is why we are calling for wage theft to be made a criminal offence.”
The Meatball and Wine Bar workers have all been back paid in full.
If you have not received your proper wages and entitlements, or are considering legal action to recover stolen wages, we can help.
Please call our specialist team at WAGETHEFT.net.au on
1300 1 THEFT (1300 184 338)
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