The Fair Work Ombudsman is making surprise visits to venues across the Sunshine Coast to ensure employers are complying with regulations.
Around 35 businesses are expected to be visited this week, with 15 of them eateries in the Noosa Shire across the suburbs of Noosa Heads, Sunrise Beach and Noosaville.
The checks come after Fair Work received reports of potential non-compliance across the area, including alleged non-payment for time worked, unlawfully low flat rates, below-Award rates to visa holders, unpaid casual, weekend and public holiday loadings and leave entitlements, unauthorised deductions, and pay slip breaches.
The Fair Work inspectors will be requesting records and speaking with business owners, managers, and employees.
Fair Work Ombudsman Anna Booth says protecting vunlerable workers and ensuring compliance across the fast food, restaurant, and cafe sector is a priority.
“We know the agriculture and fast food, restaurant and café sectors employ many young workers and visa holders who can be vulnerable to exploitation, as they are often unaware of their workplace rights and unwilling to speak up. Migrant workers may also have limited English skills,” says Booth.
The checks are part of Fair Work’s national program which has previously covered areas such as Melbourne CBD’s Degraves Street and Hardware Lane, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Hobart, Launceston, Darwin, Gold Coast, Perth, and Newcastle.
So far the Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered more than $680,000 in unpaid wages for fast food, restaurant, and café sector workers in Melbourne’s inner south and inner west.