Scourge of wage fraud demands action

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'I get emails every week from current and former workers flagging underpayment issues ranging from nail parlours, restaurants, massage shops and cleaning operations to bigger companies,' writes adele_ferguson

"Dear Senate committee, wage theft as I know it in the hospitality industry is at epidemic proportions." It was the opening statement to a submission written by a chef of 36 years to a Senate inquiry into the unlawful underpayment of wages.

The restaurant, based in Queensland and owned by a group of solicitors, never paid weekend penalty rates or a split shift allowance, paid him a flat rate under the award and failed to give him a rostered day off for three months or a break during his shifts.The chef complained to the Fair Work Ombudsman and was told to go to the small claims tribunal.

"So I wait for my QCAT Tribunal date, which the mediator stated could by upwards of 12 months away, and the pitfalls of self-representation and the high possibilities of company bankruptcy before that date seems, in my opinion, to be unacceptable and again I will be the injured party left unprotected and without justice," he wrote.


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adele_ferguson There is more to it. This won't be popular, but wages are too high in Australia for shift work. Biz needs to make profits, otherwise why take the risk.

adele_ferguson Note that they are all shift workers Which perhaps means the differing rates and times during a working shift could be problematic

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