Dozens of Fortitude Valley businesses raided by Fair Work

Thursday 7 September, 2017

Workplace investigators have raided dozens of Fortitude Valley businesses to audit their wages records after ­tip-offs that bosses routinely underpaid staff 

 

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Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said about 80 restaurants, cafes and bars were ­selected for audit at random, or based on intelligence and tips from the public.

“With many businesses in the area operating seven days a week, we are focusing on ensuring employees are being paid applicable penalty rates for weekend and night work,” Ms James said. “We also want to be proactive about checking vulnerable employees, including young, migrant and overseas workers, are receiving their full entitlements because we know they can be reluctant to complain.”

FWO inspectors conducting the surprise audits over the past three days assessed time and wage records to check pay rates and entitlements, and compliance with pay-slip and record-keeping laws. Fortitude Valley’s nightclub precinct is renowned for operating seven days a week; however, the FWO had become suspicious about how nightclubs, bars, cafes and restaurants were able to maintain such low prices.

Ms James said inspectors wanted to assess if the low prices were due to superior business strategies or chronic underpayment of employees’ minimum entitlements.

Investigators are scouring the time and wage records from the businesses and have said they would take a “fair and flexible approach” to assisting employers to voluntarily rectify non-compliance issues.

This is a copy of an article published by The Courier Mail on 7 May 2017.

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