There’s calls for greater penalties for wage theft after an audit of Fortitude Valley restaurants has found 60% had underpaid staff.
Fair Work found 73 businesses in the iconic Brisbane suburb – and found 44 businesses were non-compliant in May last year.
The audit lead to 21 infringement notices, seven formal cautions and one compliance notice, The New Daily reports. Fair Work recovered $64,941 for 180 employees from 25 businesses as a result.
Now the Queensland Tourism Industry Council has calling for tougher penalties and legislation for wage theft in a submission to a Queensland Parliamentary inquiry which begins tomorrow in Brisbane.
“Research indicates that it appears to be spreading through systematic adoption,’’ the QTIC submission said, adding wage theft is more common among low-wage, low-skill jobs in industries such as retail, hospitality and horticulture.
It also said “cash-in-hand payments have become a part of the business model’’, due to ignorance or to save time.