Spot audits on the menu for Coffs Harbour restaurants
TEN restaurants and fast food outlets on the Coffs Coast are facing investigation for under-paying staff, after recent spot-audits by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Twenty one businesses, which employ about 70 workers, were audited by staff from the Fair Work Ombudsman's Overseas Workers Team as a result of information received from the community.
Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Michael Campbell said Chinese and Indian restaurants were a particular focus of the audits based on the information received, and enquiries conducted so far indicated the community's concerns were well-founded.
"What we've found is preliminary evidence of workers being underpaid, particularly through the use of flat hourly rates for all hours worked, which appear not to cover minimum entitlements for all hours worked, including on weekends and public holidays," Mr Campbell said.
"The Fair Work Ombudsman has a strong focus on vulnerable workers, which includes young people and foreign workers such as students and working holidaymakers who may not be aware of their workplace rights and entitlements."
In one case, a fast-food worker was being paid just $9 per hour instead of the minimum of at least $17.50 they should have been receiving.
Two businesses were handed on-the-spot fines of $350 and $110 after failing to provide pay slips to their workers.
Others have been ordered to provide staff and payroll records to the Fair Work Ombudsman for further detailed investigation.
Other breaches identified were businesses not including required information on pay slips, not providing pay slips regularly and failing to keep accurate records, one employer having no records at all.
The Fair Work Ombuds- man will be conducting follow-up enquiries to ensure future compliance with workplace laws.