The company owned by celebrated pastry chef, Adriano Zumbo, is being accused of underpaying its staff members.

A number of Zumbo’s staff appeared on a recent A Current Affair episode, claiming their employer had failed to pay superannuation, had fabricated policy numbers and neglected to pay overtime rates, the Daily Telegraph reports.

A Current Affair alleged Host Plus superannuation account details were made up, showing documents with account numbers such as ‘123456789’.

One employee, Kate, claimed she’d raised her concerns with management representatives who said the payments would be made.

“I complained about that a lot by email, but they just said ‘we’ll pay we’ll pay,’” she said.

Other employees said they were told the company – 611 Pty Ltd, which employs 200 people – doesn’t pay overtime.

Zumbo has released a statement conceding that underpayments had occurred, but arguing they were unintentional. The full statement can be seen below.

Its apologetic tone is similar to that of a statement released by Melbourne restaurateur, George Calombaris, whose business, Made Establishment, was recently found to have underpaid its employees a total of $2.6 million.

Statement from Adriano Zumbo:

In January 2017 a new overtime system was implemented by my business. As a result, a number of discrepancies were identified in the calculation, approval and payment of overtime to a limited number of staff.

I have personally taken steps to rectify all back pay issues of which I am currenly [sic] aware. My expectation and intention is that all outstanding superannuation and the majority of outstanding overtime will be paid as of close of business on 2 May 2017, with the remaining payments to be made over the course of the next 24 to 48 hours.

I confirm that an audit of the payroll system of the business has been commenced and is ongoing. I instigated that audit having learnt about the discrepancies referred to above, in order to identify whether there have been any other issues in the payment of my staff, whose hard work I value enormously. In the event that audit identifies any other discrepancies in payments to staff, those matters will be remedied as soon as possible.

It saddens me to learn that some of my current and former staff did not share their apparent concerns relating to their working conditions with me or our HR department. It seems those staff shared these concerns for the first time with ACA. Had we been aware of these concerns, our HR team and I would have been available to assist those staff members in the satisfactory resolution of their concerns.

My talented team are a credit and an asset to this company are the reason for our continued success [sic]. My staff have for years been overwhelmingly passionate about the Zumbo business and always go above and beyond the call of duty to create the best Zumbo products. From the bakery to the chocolatiers, and to all our admin staff and retail employees; every member of this amazing team works tirelessly around the clock to produce delicious desserts for our loyal customers. Many of our staff have been with Zumbo long term and it is to them that I owe my sincere gratitude for the successful family business we are today.”

Image: The Weekend Edition

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