The owner of two Melbourne Restaurants, La Porchetta Berwick and La Porchetta Pakeham, has been fined $335,000.00 by Fair Work Australia for paying staff in pizza and soft drinks.
The 111 workers, most of whom were teenagers, were owed over $250,000.00 in wages.
The Melbourne business owner claimed he was “supplementing the lower pay” by giving the workers discounted pizza and soft drink, but this is not the first time he has been fined for underpaying staff.
Fair Work Australia’s Director of Education, Greg Jennings, says “young workers can be vulnerable to exploitation because they often don’t know their rights and are afraid to raise concerns with their boss”. Fair Work Australia receives approximately 26,000 complaints per year from young employees, the majority of which relate to wages.
Wages are usually determined by a ‘modern award’ and will vary by industry and occupation, but it is important to remember that under the “National Employment Standards” employers cannot pay below the minimum wage for any job.
To find out more about your employment law rights or to seek legal advice in respect of complaint of your own, contact Brazel Moore Lawyers on 4324 7699 to speak to an experienced Employment Law Solicitor today.