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UnderpaymentsOctober 28, 2015
Jia Ning Wang, who owns and operates the Fire and Stone Restaurant at the Tangalooma Island Resort in Queensland, is facing court for allegedly paying a young Chinese worker only $10.00 an hour and breaching sham contracting laws.
Also facing court is Mr Wang’s company Golden Vision Food and Beverage Services Pty Ltd.
The 417 working holiday visa holder spoke little English and was hired by the restaurant to wash the dishes. She allegedly worked a period of 19 days and was only paid the equivalent of $10.00 an hour. She was also told that she was required to have an Australian Business Number (ABN) otherwise she could not work at the restaurant.
However, the Fair Work Ombudsman states that the worker should not have been classified as an independent contractor and that this was a breach of sham contracting laws.
The worker should have instead been classed as a casual employee and been paid the minimum entitlements under the Hospitality General Award 2010. This includes casual hourly rates of more than $21.00 for normal hours and up to $26.00 for weekend and evening work.
As well as breaching sham contracting laws by classifying an employee as an independent contractor, Mr Wang also failed in his payslip and record keeping obligations. A notice to produce employment records to the FWO was also ignored.
Although the visa holder has now received all outstanding wages and entitlements, legal action is being taken against Mr Wang as he was previously placed on notice of the need to comply with workplace laws.
Golden Vision Food and Beverage Services Pty Ltd is facing maximum penalties of up to $51,000 per contravention and Mr Wang faces penalties of up to $10,200 per contravention. The FWO is also pushing for a Federal Court Order which would ensure that Mr Wang undertake an audit of his business’s compliance with workplace laws.
Employsure can assist employers with ensuring that their staff are classified under the correct Modern Award and are receiving their applicable minimum entitlements. If you have any queries surrounding the entitlements of working-holiday visa holders, please contact Employsure on 1300 651 415.
Sourced via the Fair Work Ombudsman website