Fair Work inspectors have raided restaurants and cafes along a popular Melbourne dining strip.
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 and issuing pay slips.
Fair Work inspectors raid Melbourne restaurants and cafes
The workplace watchdog launched the surprise raids as a result of multiple wage theft 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.”
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Surprise audits have their place
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan welcomed the audits by the workplace watchdog.
“Surprise audits like this have their place in fighting the scourge of wage theft in addition to holding employers accountable,” he said.
“If the inspectors find examples of underpayments, I expect the regulator will recover that money 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.”
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