After investigating 14 outlets of the bubble tea chain, Fair Work has recovered $89,952 in unpaid wages for 36 workers.

The investigation came after tip-offs in April 2022, which indicated the possibility of Sharetea underpaying staff.

Fair Work inspectors found the venues failed to pay the casual minimum wages and penalty rates, along with not engaging workers for the minimum casual hours.

The venues were also found to have not kept proper record for their business and had breached payslip-related requirements.

As part of the investigation, Fair Work checked records and payslips, as well as interviewing employees, managers and owners across stores in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Canberra.

The investigation saw Fair Work inspectors find only five of the 14 Sharetea venues to meet all obligations under the Fast Food Award 2010 and Fast Food Award 2020.

Fair Work inspectors issued four compliance notices, recovering $88,893 for 29 employees.

The inspectors also issued nine infringement notices for payslip and record-keeping breaches which totalled to $17,428 in fines paid.

One of the Sharetea venues voluntarily paid seven employees $1,060 without Fair Work acting.

Majority of the underpayments were from one store, where $78,711 was owed to 18 employees.

The franchisee for this venue received an infringement notice and is no longer operating any franchise or fats food business.

There was $87,176 recovered for 32 workers in Sydney and $2,776 for four workers in Canberra. 

The franchisor Sharetea Australia Pty Ltd was not found to have had any involvement with the breaches, and had taken steps to educate franchisees.