Sydney hotels required to back-pay staff

Underpaid hotel and restaurant staff in Sydney’s CBD and inner suburbs are mongst others to have been back-paid a total of $73,900 following recent intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.  

The biggest recovery was $42,000 for six employees at a CBD restaurant underpaid penalty rates for overtime, weekend and public holiday work over a 12-month period in 2010-2011.

Acting fair work ombudsman, Michael Campbell, said the underpayments occurred as a result of the employees being paid flat weekly salaries that did not factor in the penalty rates they were entitled to. “Employers paying staff salaries need to ensure they take into account any overtime, weekend and late-night penalty rates payable to staff,” Mr Campbell said.

Other recent recoveries included $12,400 for a senior manager at a Surry Hills hotel not paid wages in lieu of notice and redundancy entitlements upon termination of employment in 2012,

In all cases, the businesses co-operated with Fair Work Inspectors and the workers were reimbursed all money owed without the need for further action against the employer. “Our preference is always to work with employers to educate them and help them voluntarily rectify any non-compliance issues we identify,” Mr Campbell said.

In the last financial year the Fair Work Ombudsman recovered over $17.4 million in back-pay for more than 5000 underpaid workers in NSW and the ACT alone.

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