Apprentice chef and waitress underpaid almost $8k

15 July, 2016 by
Danielle Bowling

Two employees at a Traralgon eatery in Victoria have been back-paid $7,700 after the Fair Work Ombudsman found the business had short-changed them.

A female casual waitress was paid lower part-time rates and underpaid her Saturday and Sunday penalty rates for 17 months.

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The young worker was paid a minimum of up to $17.35 an hour on weekdays, $21.65 on Saturdays and $26.03 on Sundays when she should have received up to $23.09 on weekdays and $27.71 on weekends.

A full-time junior apprentice chef did not receive his tool allowance and was paid a flat rate of $10.80 an hour for three months, but should have received a minimum of $11.07 and up $16.20 at weekends.

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He was also not paid his annual leave and annual leave loading upon termination.

The employer told Fair Work inspectors the underpayments were inadvertent and the business had since introduced procedures to prevent ongoing errors.

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The employer also failed to pass on the annual federal wage increase and only issued pay-slips to employees upon request.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said that while the employer has corrected its mistakes, the business has received a formal Letter of Caution placing it on notice that further contraventions of workplace law could result in enforcement action.

“When we find mistakes, our preference is to educate employers about their obligations and assist them to put processes in place to ensure the errors are not repeated,” she said.