Fair Work Ombudsman finds more than 300 workers in Newcastle are underpaid by employers

An investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered hundreds of thousands of dollars for more than 300 employees in Newcastle.

Inspectors hit the beat across 43 businesses across Broadmeadow, Cameron Park, Hamilton, Islington, Maryland, Mayfield and Merewether after receiving a number of reports of underpayment.

The businesses included fast food, restaurant and cafe’s.

The Ombudsman found workplace law breaches in 73% of the outlets inspected, including for underpayment, failure to pay penalty rates and not paying evening, night, weekend and public holiday loading.

Off the back of that 26 compliance notices were issued, resulting in the recovery of $277,000.

“These disappointing Newcastle findings are part of a national food precincts program where we’ve often found that low-cost dining comes at the expense of workers’ lawful wages,” Fair Work Ombudsman, Anna Booth said.

“Employers must follow all wage laws, including penalty rates which generally serve as compensation for those working at times when most people are not. Those doing the wrong thing are being found out and held to account.

“Employers should access our wide range of free online tools and resources to ensure they’re meeting their obligations, or contact the FWO directly for free advice. We want to help businesses in the food sector get it right in the first place.

“We also urge workers with concerns about wages and entitlements to reach out to us – including anonymously if preferred.”

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