The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured $215,707 in unpaid wages for 446 workers on the Gold Coast.

The underpayments ranged from $153 to $20,333 for two workers.

Inspectors targeted 50 businesses in and around Southport and Broadbeach in food precincts and found an incredible 88 per cent failed to comply with workplace laws.

“Our intelligence-led activities have audited food precincts around the country because they commonly employ a high proportion of young and migrant workers who can be vulnerable to exploitation,” says Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker.

“Protecting vulnerable workers such as visa holders and improving compliance in the fast food, restaurants and cafés sector are ongoing priorities for the Fair Work Ombudsman.”

34 out of 50 businesses underpaid their workers, with 18 failing to meet pay slip and record-keeping requirements.

The most common breach was a failure to pay penalty rates (22 businesses) and pay minimum rates for ordinary hours (eight businesses).

The Fair Work Ombudsman issued 35 compliance notices to 31 businesses, resulting in a recovery of $215,707 for workers.

In addition, 12 infringement notices were issued, with $9,282 in penalties paid.

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