Labor advocates say cooks, servers and other restaurant employees in Maine are underpaid and deserve better benefits.

Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) has welcomed a commitment from the Commonwealth Government to clarify the status of casual workers and the uncertainty around their entitlements.

R&CA CEO Juliana Payne stressed the urgency of providing small businesses with certainty around the arrangements of casual workers, following a recent Federal Court decision which ruled that a casual worker was entitled to receive annual leave entitlements, despite being paid a casual loading.

“The precedent created in the WorkPac vs Skene case allowing casual workers to potentially receive both a loading and annual leave entitlements has caused considerable angst and alarm amongst café and restaurant-owners who rely heavily on casual workers to run their businesses sustainably and successfully,” Payne says.

“The inherent seasonality and unpredictable trade of the hospitality industry throughout the year means that the owners of café, restaurant and catering businesses will always require access to casual workers to some degree.

“However, the confusion and uncertainty created by the WorkPac vs Skene case has led to a situation whereby business owners may be unwilling to engage casual workers because of the potential liabilities arising from this case.

“We therefore strongly welcome today’s announcement from Minister O’Dwyer regarding the Commonwealth Government’s intervention to provide business-owners with certainty and clarity over entitlements for casual workers.”


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