Media release

19 July 2011

Mornington Peninsula hotel and restaurant campaign results released

Two-thirds of hotels and restaurants randomly audited on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula have breached federal workplace laws, the Fair Work Ombudsman revealed today.

Fair Work inspectors checked the books of 35 businesses in the region after receiving intelligence that some operators may have been gaining unfair competitive advantage by short-changing staff.

Twenty-two businesses (65 per cent) were found to have contraventions, mostly related to underpayment of wages and non-payment of loadings and allowances.

One business remains under investigation.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson says a total of $120,100 has been recouped for 119 employees who had been underpaid.

The recoveries include:

  • $88,100 for 73 Sorrento employees underpaid the minimum hourly rate,
  • $18,800 for 34 Mornington employees underpaid the minimum hourly rate and public holiday loadings,
  • $9500 for an employee at Dromana underpaid the minimum hourly rate and penalty rates,
  • $1900 for five Mount Eliza employees underpaid the minimum hourly rate and night loadings,
  • $800 for an employee at Highett not paid for overtime,
  • $500 for an employee at Carrum not paid penalty rates, and
  • $500 for two Frankston employees not paid public holiday loadings and evening allowances.

Mr Wilson says all of the businesses which underpaid staff have co-operated with inspectors and voluntarily back-paid outstanding entitlements.

"They have also put processes in place to ensure these mistakes are not repeated in future, thus avoiding the need for any further action on our part," he said.

Mr Wilson says the campaign findings suggest that employers in the region need to find time to familiarise themselves with their workplace obligations.

The Fair Work Ombudsman provides a single point of contact for people working or running a business in Australia to get accurate information about their workplace rights and obligations.

Mornington Peninsula business-owners who want support understanding their workplace obligations should visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

The website - www.fairwork.gov.au - has a number of tools and resources, including PayCheck, Payroll Check, a Pay Rates Calculator and Award Finder to assist employers calculate correct pay rates for their employees.

Free documentation is also available Online for employers to use when hiring, managing and dismissing staff including letters of engagement and probation, timesheet and pay slip templates, leave application forms, a self-audit check list and workplace complaint form.

An 'Industries' section on the website provides extra, specialised information for employers and employees in the retail, cleaning, clerical, hair and beauty, security, horticulture, fast food and hospitality industries.

A series of Best Practice Guides have also been created by the Fair Work Ombudsman to assist with individual flexibility arrangements, work and family, consultation and co-operation, employing young workers, gender pay equity, small business, workplace privacy, managing underperformance, effective dispute resolution, parental leave and improving workplace productivity in bargaining.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman on Twitter: @fairwork_gov_au External link icon.

Media inquiries:

Cameron Jackson, Media Adviser, Media and Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146 
cameron.jackson@fwo.gov.au

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Page last updated: 19 Jul 2011