The Fair Work Ombudsman carried out a surprise audit of 17 Top Juice stores yesterday, it has announced. The outlets were located in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the ACT.
The FWO was responding to anonymous reports from Top Juice employees. Inspectors at the stores reviewed employment records and spoke to both staff and management about employment entitlements and record keeping requirements and processes.
According to the FWO, allegations made by employees includes “the underpayment of staff, failing to provide work breaks, not providing proper payslips or incorrect information detailed on the pay slips, and not paying termination entitlements.”
The audit of the Top Juice outlets follows on from many previous surprise audits of the fast food, restaurant and café industry, such as July’s audit of Brisbane’s trendy West End area, and an August audit of a group of bars in Melbourne.
In June, the FWO also announced that it would be targeting this sector in the 2019/20 financial year. Sandra Parker, the Fair Work Ombudsman, sounded out a warning to employers about the FWO’s objectives this financial year.
“Our intelligence indicates that high numbers of migrant workers, international students and young people are employed at Top Juice outlets, who may be unaware of their workplace rights or unable to speak up due to concerns about their visa status,” Parker said.
“Our inspectors are on the ground to gather further information about Top Juice’s operations and determine if there are any breaches of workplace laws. Our priority is to ensure that all staff are receiving the wages and entitlements they are provided under the law.
“All workers in Australia have the same rights at work and we encourage workers with concerns about their pay to get in touch with the Fair Work Ombudsman.”
According to the FWO, the hospitality industry accounts for 17% of all disputes “the FWO assisted with” and 36% of all anonymous reports, while only employing 7% of the workforce.
News of the FWO audit also comes during a financial year where celebrity chef George Calombaris’ MAdE Establishment made headlines across the country for underpaying their workers $7.8 million.