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59 % of Canberra restaurants screwing their staff?

By johnboy - 5 June 2013 37

No we’re not talking about the fraught relationships of restauranteurs and wait staff.

Rather the ABC has a piece on findings by the Fair Work Ombudsman:

The Fair Work Ombudsman audited 180 restaurants across Canberra between November 2011 and March this year.

It found 105 businesses, or 59 per cent, were in breach.

Of those in breach, nearly half were not paying employees the correct wages, a third had poor record-keeping, and the remainder had both.

An investigation into one business is continuing.

After the audit, almost $280,000 was repaid to 482 workers.

They’re doing a follow up audit in August.

What’s Your opinion?


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37 Responses to
59 % of Canberra restaurants screwing their staff?
eyeLikeCarrots 8:09 am 06 Jun 13

Tetranitrate said :

neanderthalsis said :

throw in international students with limited work rights

This is the major factor.
International students basically serve as slave-labor for the hospitality industry – it’s extremely commonplace for cafes, restaurants and the like to ‘hire’ them cash in hand for $10/hour or less.
It’s absolutely rampant in all Australian capital cities.

I wold have thought that international students on the relevent, valid visa with a right to work would be entitled to the same legal rights as any australian citizen ?

dungfungus 7:47 am 06 Jun 13

Tetranitrate said :

neanderthalsis said :

throw in international students with limited work rights

This is the major factor.
International students basically serve as slave-labor for the hospitality industry – it’s extremely commonplace for cafes, restaurants and the like to ‘hire’ them cash in hand for $10/hour or less.
It’s absolutely rampant in all Australian capital cities.

So, are you going to black ban every cafe and restaurant in the country if they can’t produce the wages book with the correct amounts for you to peruse with the menu? If I were you, I would get used to packing your lunch at home from now on as a contingency plan.

dungfungus 7:29 am 06 Jun 13

No doubt the Fair Work Ombudsman will be passing on the names and the addresses of all the affected workers to the ATO so that that agency can check that all under award monies they have been previously paid in cash and their impemding “windfall” payment has been declared?
The same people that applaud this enforcement of penalty rates will be the first to whinge when they go to their favourite noshery for a lazy Sunday morning brunch and get a bill about 30% higher than normal if indeed the establishment is opened anymore on weekends or public holidays.

Tetranitrate 7:37 pm 05 Jun 13

neanderthalsis said :

throw in international students with limited work rights

This is the major factor.
International students basically serve as slave-labor for the hospitality industry – it’s extremely commonplace for cafes, restaurants and the like to ‘hire’ them cash in hand for $10/hour or less.
It’s absolutely rampant in all Australian capital cities.

gungsuperstar 6:53 pm 05 Jun 13

neanderthalsis said :

I’d be willing to wager that the vast majority of breaches were due to confusion around penalty rates .

Scarcely have I read such crap – and as someone who frequents the Riot Act most days, it’s a big call.

Am I to believe that a restaurant owner can operate a business, pay tax, roster staff, find good staff (particularly kitchen staff) – but they can’t understand penalty rates?

They aren’t difficult to understand. The only people who say otherwise are conservatives throwing out a firthy (read: a lie) because they don’t believe in some of the youngest and poorest workers in Australia being adequately compensated for working rubbish hours and giving up their work life balance to do so.

I’d be interested in any numbers that exist about workplaces that are more prone to ripping off their staff – I’d bet my last dollar that employers with either young staff (such as restaurants) or with a high proportion of Indigenous staff are ripping off their staff much more than most.

Ben_Dover 4:58 pm 05 Jun 13

Jim Jones said :

Ben_Dover said :

Jim Jones said :

Funny how the “confusion” never leads to anybody being overpaid.

Are you certain?

“After the audit almost $280,000 was repaid to 482 workers”.

Kinda speaks for itself, dunnit?

Ermmm……. No.

It states nothing about “never leads to anybody being overpaid”. It only states that some, not all, were underpaid.

neanderthalsis 4:23 pm 05 Jun 13

c_c™ said :

Rioters may recall the owner of the Holy Grail got hauled before the Federal Court for underpaying his staff, a couple of whom were family members! Either a real SOB doing that deliberately, or there’s some genuine incompetence in the hospitality industry causing “confusion”.

I’m inclined to think that it is the award and the working nature of the industry itself that causes much of the confusion along with small business owners that are not all that good at the “business” side of running a business. When you have staff working split shifts, penalty rates in lieu of not having a mandatory break, shifts that transition pay rates, public holidays and days in lieu in public holidays and throw in international students with limited work rights; it can get a little confusing.

Jim Jones 4:16 pm 05 Jun 13

Ben_Dover said :

Jim Jones said :

Funny how the “confusion” never leads to anybody being overpaid.

Are you certain?

“After the audit almost $280,000 was repaid to 482 workers”.

Kinda speaks for itself, dunnit?

bundah 3:43 pm 05 Jun 13

In more ways than one!

c_c™ 2:05 pm 05 Jun 13

Rioters may recall the owner of the Holy Grail got hauled before the Federal Court for underpaying his staff, a couple of whom were family members! Either a real SOB doing that deliberately, or there’s some genuine incompetence in the hospitality industry causing “confusion”.

Ben_Dover 1:59 pm 05 Jun 13

Jim Jones said :

Funny how the “confusion” never leads to anybody being overpaid.

Are you certain?

peitab 1:30 pm 05 Jun 13

Frankly I’m surprised the number is as low as 59%…

poetix 12:50 pm 05 Jun 13

Jim Jones said :

Funny how the “confusion” never leads to anybody being overpaid.

Only CEOs.

Jim Jones 12:37 pm 05 Jun 13

Funny how the “confusion” never leads to anybody being overpaid.

neanderthalsis 11:56 am 05 Jun 13

I’d be willing to wager that the vast majority of breaches were due to confusion around penalty rates .

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