The Fair Work Ombudsman has announced its latest audit activity and legal action, after concerning reports from employees.
The FWO has announced that it is conducting audits of the popular Korean fried chicken franchise Gami Chicken and Beer.
This follows requests for assistance from employees, according to a statement from the FWO.
The FWO said that it has received over 20 enquiries and anonymous reports from Gami Chicken employees variously claiming underpayments, including of penalty rates, and failure to provide payslips.
“Fair Work inspectors are today speaking with Gami Chicken employers, managers and employees to check that workers are receiving their full wages and entitlements. We will review pay records at 19 Melbourne, Sydney and Perth stores to ensure they are complying with important payslip laws,” said Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker.
“Like many people working in the fast food sector, Gami Chicken and Beer staff are potentially vulnerable due to their age, cultural background or visa status. It is important for us to talk with these workers on the ground so they are aware of their workplace rights and that we can help them.
“Australia’s minimum pay rates are not negotiable and employers in the fast food, restaurant and café sector should actively check that they are paying their staff correctly. Franchisors must also take responsibility for ensuring that their franchisees are complying with workplace laws.”
Going to court
The FWO has also commenced legal action against a Victorian massage parlour operator Austop Natural Therapy and Supplies Pty Ltd. It operates a massage parlour trading as Yin’s Chinese Massage in Bacchus Marsh. It also formerly operated a massage parlour under the same trading name in Ballarat.
The FWO is also taking action against company director Yusen Yin and company secretary Wenhua Liu, alleging that they were involved in the underpayments.
Between December 2016 and July 2017, FWO alleges that Austop paid the employee a percentage of the total price of each massage she performed at its Ballarat business.
However, it should have been paying her an hourly rate of pay according to her entitlements under the Hair and Beauty Industry Award 2010.
According to the FWO, this resulted in alleged underpayment of the employee’s ordinary hourly rates, overtime rates, weekend and public holiday penalty rates, superannuation and annual leave entitlements.
The company also allegedly failed to ensure she did not work on more than six consecutive days, according to the FWO.
The FWO inspectors discovered the alleged breaches following contact from the worker, who was in Australia on a subclass 462 Work and Holiday Visa.