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Melbourne Restaurants And Cafes Raided By Fair Work Inspectors

Melbourne restaurants and cafes raided by Fair Work inspectors

Melbourne restaurants and cafes along a popular dining strip in the CBD have been raided by Fair Work inspectors.

The raids follow multiple complaints of widespread wage theft in the area.

Inspectors conducted spot checks on at least 40 businesses along Degraves Street and Hardware Lane.

Melbourne restaurants and cafes raided

Fair Work says it is targeting the area as a result of receiving numerous anonymous complaints from workers.

Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the audits are the latest in a number of proactive compliance activities focusing on popular food hubs.

“Protecting the rights of vulnerable workers in the fast food, restaurant and café sector is a priority for the Fair Work Ombudsman.

“Successive activities in popular food precincts across Australia have revealed unacceptable breaches of workplace laws.”

Wage theft rife in hospitality industry

According to Fair Work, the hospitality industry accounts for over a third of court actions for workplace breaches.

It also accounts for 40 percent of all anonymous reports to the regulator, despite representing just 7 percent of the workforce.

Miles Heffernan, Litigation Director at Industrial Relations Claims, says hospitality workers are particularly vulnerable to exploitation.

“Many hospo workers are young, or students and also visa holders,” he said.

“That often means they are unaware of their workplace rights, or they are too afraid to complain, and as a result, dodgy businesses get away with ripping them off.”

Ms Parker has vowed to take enforcement action against any businesses breaking workplace laws.

“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.”

A report on the campaign’s findings will be published once the activity is completed.

Delgraves Street Melbourne.

 

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