The Australian government agency, Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), launched an investigation into the 47 Sydney businesses within the hospitality industry, discovering that almost 77% were not following workplace laws. These violations include underpayment of wages, breach of workplace laws, and poor record keeping. The focus of the investigation is on underpayments in the industry, where many businesses have been found to be taking advantage of workers by not paying the correct wages.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said “What we have found across Australia when we’ve done audits of these food precincts … fast foods, restaurants and cafe sector … we have found very high levels of non-compliance.”
The investigation is part of a broader initiative by the FWO to increase compliance in the hospitality industry, which has been identified as a sector with high levels of non-compliance. In this investigation, 27 infringement notices and $90,354 in fines have been issued to businesses, plus nearly $240,000 will be given back to Sydney hospitality workers. The venues across Haymarket, Chinatown, Darling Harbour, Barangaroo, Surry Hills and Darlinghurst were targeted across Sydney based on an anonymous tip.
It is essential for businesses in the hospitality industry to comply with workplace laws to protect their workers from exploitation and avoid legal consequences. WageSafe is a real-time automated auditing tool that allows hospitality businesses to remediate staff underpayments. By staying ahead of underpayments, businesses can see ROI on potential underpayments.