31 Jul 2019

Two Brisbane suburbs in Australia's worst three for wage complaints

Nundah has been revealed as the worst suburb in Australia for employees feeling short-changed but a precinct on the other side of the Brisbane River has the attention of the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Fair Work inspectors have blitzed West End to audit 50 bars, restaurants and cafes after the precinct was revealed as the third-worst Australian suburbs list for wage theft complaints.

There was no indication similar audits would occur at Nundah.

More than 100 reports by employees at West End suggested they were underpaid or had not received lawful entitlements including overtime, weekend penalty rates and special allowances.

Fair Work said the number of reports made West End the third-most complained about suburb in Australia when it came to wage theft, behind Nundah and Port Phillip in Melbourne.

The figures were recorded between April 2016 to October 2018.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said inspectors were on the ground on Thursday to check if employers had received correct wages and pay slips, and if accurate employment records were being kept by businesses.

“If eateries in the West End are breaking the law, we will help to recover the wages and entitlements owed to staff," she said.

"We will also consider what enforcement action is necessary, including court action.”

Ms Parker said employers should check they were paying staff correctly before Fair Work "come knocking".

But the president of the United Voice Queensland union said bars, cafes and restaurants were quickly learning they could not get away with wage theft.

“Hospitality workers have had enough," Sharron Caddie said.

“Wage theft of any kind is simply not acceptable – whether it’s underpaying staff, withholding super or not paying penalty rates."

Anonymous reports could be made via the Fair Work Ombudsman or by phoning 13 13 94 for free workplace assistance.

SOURCE ; https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/two-brisbane-suburbs-in-australia-s-worst-three-for-wage-complaints-20190725-p52amt.html

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