Top Juice workers have been back-paid $32,435 after an investigation into 16 of the outlets in three states.
The Fair Work Ombudsman recovered the money for 18 workers as a result of the surprise audits.
Top Juice workers back-paid $32,000 in stolen wages
Fair Work inspectors raided nine Top Juice outlets in Sydney and three in Melbourne.
They also audited one store each in Brisbane, Canberra, Wooloongong and the NSW Central Coast.
Furthermore, they visited the company’s head office late last year.
The franchisor operates four of the outlets, while the other 12 are operated by franchisees.
The raids happened as a result of multiple complaints of wage theft from workers.
Almost half of Top Juice outlets non-compliant
Fair Work found seven of the outlets breached workplace laws, including underpaying workers and failing to issue pay slips.
The most common underpayments included:
- non-payment of weekend, public holiday and overtime penalty rates; and also
- underpayments of the minimum hourly rate.
The regulator recovered:
- $29,384 for 13 Melbourne workers;
- $2,597 for four Sydney workers; and
- $453 for one Canberra worker.
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Top Juice workers migrants
Meanwhile, Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said most of those affected are migrants, who are considered vulnerable workers.
She said all workers have the same rights in Australia, regardless of their nationality.
“The FWO’s investigation into the Top Juice network was based upon complaints we had received from migrant employees, including international students, who can be particularly vulnerable due to their visa status and may have limited understanding of their workplace rights.
“The Fair Work Ombudsman continues to focus on improving workplace compliance among franchises in the food industry this year.”
As a result of the breaches, inspectors issued:
- five Compliance Notices requiring employers to rectify breaches of the law;
- one formal caution; in addition to
- two Infringement Notices for pay slip breaches with penalties totaling $420.
Fair Work also warned the businesses that any future breaches will likely lead to enforcement action.
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