A Crust franchise in Hobart is in hot water after paying overseas workers less than Australian employees.

The Ombudsman alleges three Bangladeshi nationals and one Indian national were underpaid a total of $9,926 for work during January and July 2016.

The workers were in Australia on student visas and paid a flat hourly rate of $12 for all hours worked — plus $1 per pizza delivery — resulting in significant underpayment. The workers were allegedly paid in cash and not provided with payslips.

On the flip side, Australian employees at the outlet were paid higher minimum rates of pay and penalty rates for weekend and public holiday work. They were also paid a cents-per-kilometre rate for deliveries. Australian workers were given pay slips and paid into their bank accounts.

QHA Foods, Kumarasamy and Raghuram allegedly also breached workplace laws during the investigation by providing inspectors with altered records that removed hours worked by overseas workers.

“We allege four migrant workers were paid significantly less than other staff at a Crust pizza franchisee because they were not Australian,” says Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker.

QHA Foods Pty Ltd faces maximum penalties of up to $54,000 per breach and Kumarasamy and Raghuram face penalties of up to $10,800 per breach.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a court order requiring QHA Foods to commission workplace relations training for managerial staff.

All workers have now been back-paid in full.


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