Nando’s restaurant signs workplace pact after short-changing young workers more than $27,000

24 February 2016

The operator of a Nando's restaurant in Canberra has been found short-changing its young workers thousands of dollars.

Thirteen casual employees aged between 16 and 25 were underpaid almost $27,500.

Most were paid a flat rate of $18 an hour for all hours worked, including weekends and public holidays.

Under the Restaurant Industry Award, they should have been paid at least $17.35 for a Level 1 adult for ordinary hours worked, up to $26.03 on weekends and $43.38 on public holidays.

The employees were underpaid for work performed between July 1, 2014 and June 30 last year at Nando's Canberra City, run by C & JT Pty Ltd.

The underpayments, which ranged from $36 to $4791, were identified when Fair Work inspectors audited the business as part of a pro-active education and compliance campaign in the ACT.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the employer has demonstrated a willingness to make changes to its workplace practices to ensure future compliance with federal workplace laws.

The business has signed an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman aimed at encouraging behavioural change.

The EU requires:

  • Back-payment of all outstanding wages and entitlements,
  • An apology for the conduct to the affected employees,
  • Registration with the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Online tool My Account,
  • A commitment to future compliance with federal workplace laws, and
  • The appointment of an external professional to audit the business’s compliance with workplace laws for the next three years.

Ms James says it is important for anyone running a business to ensure they understand the workplace laws applicable to their business, and the Fair Work Ombudsman has a range of free tools and resources to assist.

She encouraged employers who had any uncertainty about whether their workplace practices were appropriate to visit or call the Small Business Helpline for advice on 13 13 94.

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