Fair Work has confirmed it is conducting unannounced workplace audits in Melbourne’s CBD.

Restaurants and cafes in Degraves Street and the Hardware Lane precinct are the target of the initiative, with Fair Work inspectors speaking to business owners, managers and employees.

The Ombudsman selected the area after receiving intelligence from the anonymous report tool and various stakeholders which revealed potential workplace breaches.

At least 40 businesses face audits and inspectors are also examining their employment records for compliance with workplace laws.

“Successive activities in popular food precincts across Australia have revealed unacceptable breaches of workplace laws,” says Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker.

“Our audits have established a link between prices and wage underpayments and it is clear that the true cost of cheap food may be the employees’ lawful entitlements. We will take enforcement action if the audits find serious breaches of workplace laws.”

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