Fair Work inspectors have raided restaurants and cafes along a popular Melbourne dining strip after complaints of widespread wage theft.
Inspectors are checking that businesses are paying their workers proper wages and also lawful entitlements.
They are also making sure they are keeping proper employment records.
Fair Work inspectors raid Melbourne restaurants and cafes
The workplace watchdog launched the raids as a result of receiving multiple complaints from workers in the area.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said her agency is actively targeting popular food hubs.
“Protecting the rights of vulnerable workers in the fast food, restaurant and also cafe sectors is a priority for the Fair Work Ombudsman.
“Successive activities in popular food precincts across Australia have revealed unacceptable breaches of workplace laws.
“Our audits have established a link between prices and wage underpayments and it is clear that the true cost of cheap food may be the employees’ lawful entitlements.
“We will subsequently take enforcement action if today’s audits find serious breaches of workplace laws.”
Surprise audits have their place
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from WAGETHEFT.net.au welcomed the audits.
“Surprise audits like this have their place in fighting the scourge of wage theft and also holding employers accountable,” he said.
“If the inspectors find instances of underpayments, I hope the money can be recovered for the workers, and furthermore, I hope the offenders will be penalised.
“Unfortunately the current penalties for wage theft are woefully inadequate and therefore make it easy for employers to steal from their workers.
“Until we see criminal penalties introduced, greedy bosses will continue to steal from their workers.”
“SUSHI OPERATOR HIT WITH RECORD $891,000 IN PENALTIES FOR UNDERPAYMENTS”
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