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UnderpaymentsJuly 21, 2015
A Melbourne women has alleged that she was terminated from her job at the burger company Grill’d, after she complained about her wages. The small ‘family run’ Camberwell franchise pays its staff under a 2007 WorkChoices agreement that denies staff penalty rates, shift loadings and pays below award rates.
Kahlini Pyrah, aged 20, says she started looking into the company’s award agreement and her work entitlements after one of her friends was unfairly dismissed. She discovered that Grill’d was paying its employees under the 2007 WorkChoices agreement and started campaigning for the company to pay the correct restaurant industry entitlements.
The workplace agreement for five Melbourne Grill’d outlets pays adult staff a flat hourly rate of $17.52 and no weekend penalty rates. Under the restaurant award, adult grade 2 staff should be receiving $18.47 an hour up to $27.71 an hour at weekends, including penalty rates which allegedly Grill’d failed to abide by. It is also alleged that Grill’d employees are required to undertake unpaid training outside of work hours and finance their own uniforms.
Ms Pyrah went to management and requested that they pay full award entitlements. She also provided management with a petition that had been signed by eight fellow co-workers.
Ms Pyrah states; “It seemed like they listened, and they said ‘we’ll give you the right payments, we’ll compensate people paid below the minimum wage, as long as you don’t terminate your WorkChoices agreement’.” However, there was no change in the employees’ wages and 10 days later Ms Pyrah’s employment was terminated.
Ms Pyrah claims she was sacked due to launching a legal application to replace the 2007 contract with the modern award. Grill’d denies these allegations and states that Kahlini Pyrah’s employment was terminated due to allegations that she was bullying two senior male store managers. Hospitality union, United Voice, says that the bullying allegations made against Ms Pyrah were baseless and simply made in a bid to ‘’silence her and force her out of her job’’.
Grill’d vigorously denies allegations that they underpay their staff and claims that its workplace agreement is legally valid and lawful rates of pay are applied. “These claims are vigorously denied by management and will be strongly defended,” the company said in a statement.
If you are an employer and unsure if you are currently meeting your employment obligations under the Fair Work Act, or if you would like to review the correct modern award or wages rate for your business, contact Employsure on 1300 651 415.
Sourced via ABC News