A Robina restaurant and a Carrara takeaway food outlet have been ordered to backpay a dozen employees more than $23,000, following audits by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The employers of both establishments are from non-English speaking backgrounds and claimed to be unaware of their workplace obligations.

The takeaway outlet – which has since backpaid four casual employees and two teenage workers – was paying staff as little as $10 an hour, while neglecting to pay penalty rates for weekends, public holidays or shift work.

In Robina, nine workers – some of who are international students – have been reimbursed a total of $13,700 after being underpaid at a local restaurant over a 12 month period. Like the Carrara outlet, the Robina workers were paid flat hourly rates instead of the wages applicable under the Restaurant Industry Award.

One particular worker was underpaid more than $5,100.

While Fair Work Ombudsman, Natalie James, said both employers co-operated with inspectors and promptly reimbursed employees all money owed, she said they are now “on notice” to comply with workplace laws.

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