6 November 2017
A backpacker who worked as a restaurant manager, chef, waiter and bookkeeper at a restaurant in Hobart has been back-paid $18,812 in outstanding wages and entitlements.
The working holiday visa-holder worked for 10 hours a day, seven days a week and was paid only $900 per week with a $175 deduction for purported visa sponsorship arrangements. This equated to rates as low as $10.36 an hour.
As the sole employee at the restaurant, the worker was responsible for opening and closing the business, cooking meals, serving customers and managing the business’s accounts.
He had every second Sunday off and was allowed to take ten minute breaks during shifts if there were no customers waiting.
Under the Restaurant Industry Award 2010 at the time, the casual employee was entitled to a minimum hourly rate of $24.45, $29.34 on Saturdays, $34.23 on Sundays and $48.90 on public holidays.
Under the award, the employee should also have received a minimum 30 minute unpaid meal break during any shift of five or more hours.
The employer kept no records relating to the worker’s employment and the worker did not receive a payslip during his entire period of employment.
After the employee contacted the Fair Work Ombudsman for assistance, the employer and employee were able to resolve the matter resulting in the worker being back-paid his owed entitlements.