Wageline News, October 2019
In this edition:
- Café and restaurant employer audits now on the menu
- Beauty industry campaign moves to audit phase
- Inspectors recover over $370,000 in 2018/19
Café and restaurant employer audits now on the menu
Café and restaurant business owners will start receiving information on employment obligations under a new state-wide education campaign.
The campaign focuses on café and restaurant businesses in the state industrial relations system, which are those that operate as sole traders, unincorporated partnerships and unincorporated trusts.
Pay rates, including higher pay rates for weekends and public holidays, allowances and working hours in state system cafés and restaurants are set by the Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Workers Award. It is unlawful for employers to pay employees less than the rates of pay outlined in this WA Award.
The pay rates in the Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Workers Award apply:
- in all metropolitan and regional areas of Western Australia;
- to all employees working in a café or restaurant as wait staff, baristas, kitchenhands, counterhands, chefs, cooks and other roles related to the preparation of food and serving of customers;
- to all full time, part time and casual staff; and
- to all staff working on student visas, working holiday visas and temporary skilled visas.
Following Wageline’s awareness raising campaign, selected businesses will be audited by industrial inspectors from Private Sector Labour Relations to check that employees are receiving their correct pay rates and entitlements, and business owners are maintaining correct employment records. If underpayments or other breaches are identified, Private Sector Labour Relations may initiate enforcement action against employers in the Industrial Magistrates Court.
Since 2015, Private Sector Labour Relations industrial inspectors have received 139 complaints from employees of cafes and restaurants for underpayment of wages, allowances or leave under the Restaurant, Tearoom and Catering Workers Award. Via conciliation and formal investigations, a total of $235,410 has been recovered on behalf of employees, an average of $1,694 per employee.
The Employment obligations in the café and restaurant sector page on the Wageline website gives café and restaurant business owners more information on employment obligations and the current campaign. You can also email Wageline or call on 1300 655 266.
Employees who believe that they have been underpaid should visit the Making a complaint about underpayment of wages or entitlements page for more information.
Beauty industry campaign moves to audit phase
A state-wide education campaign over the last two months has focused on minimum rates of pay and staff entitlements for workers in beauty salons operating in the state industrial relations system.
Over 580 businesses across Western Australia were provided with information on the minimum conditions for employees in this industry. Beauty salons in the state industrial relations system are those where the businesses operate as:
- sole traders (e.g. Jane Smith trading as Jane’s Beauty Spa),
- unincorporated partnerships (e.g. Jane and Bob Smith trading as Jane’s Beauty Spa)
- unincorporated trust arrangements (Jane and Bob Smith as trustees for Jane’s Beauty Spa).
Following the education phase of this campaign, selected beauty salon businesses are now being audited by industrial inspectors from Private Sector Labour Relations to ensure that employees are receiving the correct rates of pay and entitlements and the business is keeping correct employment records.
Businesses which are included in this stage of the campaign will be required to provide records that will be audited by industrial inspectors to ensure employees are receiving their correct pay rates and entitlements.
Inspectors recover over $370,000 in 2018/19
Private Sector Labour Relations industrial inspectors have helped employees to recover over $370,000 in unpaid entitlements in the last financial year.
Over $300,000 was recovered for employees who lodged a complaint with Private Sector Labour Relations, and nearly $70,000 was recovered as a result of proactive compliance campaigns in targeted industries. Find out more about proactive compliance campaigns on the Wageline website.
Employees who believe they have been underpaid under a WA Award, the state minimum conditions of employment or state long service leave laws should visit the Wageline website or contact Wageline on 1300 655 266 for more information.