Hobart cafe workers awarded $20,000 in back pay

22 September, 2015 by
Aoife Boothroyd

Four Hobart cafe workers have been back-paid almost $20,000 following an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The four employees of the Royel Bakehouse (located within the Centrepoint Shopping Centre) were being paid a flat rate of $14 per hour between Feburary, 2014 and March 2015. However under the Fast Food Industry Award 2010, they should have received an hourly rate of $23.15 and up to $27.79 on Saturdays.

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Owner of the cafe, Boon Seah told Fair Work inspectors that he was unaware of minimum wage rates applicable to his business.

In addition to back paying his employees, (individual payments of which ranged from $770 to $9,674) Seah has also taken an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) which will require him to issue pay-slips and to engage an external accounting professional to audit the businesses’ compliance within 12 months.

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Fair Work Ombudsman, Natalie James said that Seah has expressed “sincere regret” and has apologised for his contraventions.

“This matter demonstrates how lack of awareness of minimum wages and conditions can lead to a hefty bill which can potentially have a negative financial impact on the business,” said James.

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“We are committed to helping employers understand and comply with workplace laws, but operators also need to make an effort to get the basics right in the first place.”