Fast food, restaurants and cafes campaign

We have been working closely with businesses in the fast food, restaurants and cafe industries recently to raise awareness and increase compliance with workplace laws.

While these industries only make up a small proportion of Australia’s workforce, they collectively accounted for the highest number of disputes and other compliance activities we were involved in over the last two years.

Our intelligence-led audits in popular food precincts across Australia show that workplace breaches most commonly relate to underpayment of wages and failure to provide pay slips.

Find out on this page:

What we're doing

We’re working hard to improve compliance in these industries by:

  • understanding the factors that contribute to non-compliance in these industries
  • communicating key information across sector networks to help workers know their rights, and help businesses to get it right
  • using our legislative powers to hold lead businesses and others involved in non-compliance to account.
    • As part of our ongoing intelligence-led audits, we’ve conducted a number of proactive compliance activities targeting popular food precincts in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Our inspectors visited businesses in three prominent hospitality precincts in each city. The precincts were chosen using a range of intelligence and analysis (including anonymous report information) to determine high concentrations of known, or suspected, non-compliant practices.

      We audited 243 businesses in total, which revealed a non-compliance rate of 72% across those businesses. We’ve recovered $471 904 for 616 employees. The most common breaches were in relation to underpayment of wages (38%), and failure to provide pay slips in the prescribed form (17%).

      These activities indicate that non-compliance is often caused by factors such as:

      • the costs associated with employment as well as other key inputs such as amenities
      • low awareness of where to get help
      • industry norms
      • language barriers
      • a reliance on third-party wage advice (such as accountants).

      Getting help and industry resources

      We can help you understand your rights and responsibilities, including pay, hours of work, leave, awards and more. Find tailored information, resources and templates on our Fast food, restaurants and cafes page.

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