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UnderpaymentsJuly 27, 2015
Four Korean backpackers have been dubbed ‘trouble makers’ by their employer and owner of Bundaberg’s ‘Nodija Sushi’ restaurant, after going to the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) for employment advice.
The workers were underpaid almost $28,600 in just six months. Businessman Younsig Kang, who also operates three other sushi takeaway restaurants, told the FWO that they had agreed to work for below award wages. One of Mr Kang’s significant wrongdoing was disciplining his staff for questioning their working entitlements and pay – a right all employees are entitled to.
Upon investigation, Fair Work inspectors found that the employees, who were on 417 working holiday visas, were short changed $8,006, $7514, $5,639 and $7,435 respectively. They had been underpaid their minimum hourly rate, casual loadings, penalties and did not receive any superannuation contributions.
Under the Restaurant Industry Award 2010, the employees should have received up to $25.70 an hour Monday to Saturday; however Mr Kang paid a flat rate of $14 an hour. On Sundays they received up to $23.33 when they lawfully should have been paid between $28.60 to $29.26. Furthermore, Mr Kang deducted $12.00 a day for a ‘food and drink’ allowance, even when the employees did not consume anything from the shop.
Deducting monies from wages is unlawful if not agreed upon by the employee beforehand and if the deductions are not beneficial to the employee.
The FWO also found that Mr Kang had failed to keep adequate employee records or issue employee payslips, which is a breach of workplace law.
Mr Kang’s sushi companies, Knodaji Pty Ltd and Taejin Pty Ltd, will each make a $5,000 donation to the Queensland Working Women’s Centre to help promote workplace rights. Mr Kang also agreed to reimburse the workers all of their outstanding wages and entitlements, publicly apologise for his behaviour and promises to comply with federal workplace laws in the future.
If you have any uncertainty regarding appropriate workplace practices, modern awards or employee entitlements, contact Employsure today on 1300 651 415.
Sourced via Fair Work Ombudsman website