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Wage theft

Stakes are high in celebrity chef wage theft scandal

Celebrity Chef George Calombaris is under fire for reportedly underpaying 515 past and current workers a staggering $7.8 million in wages.

Last week the Fair Work Ombudsman slapped the celebrity Chef and his Made Establishment business with a $200,000 fine for the underpayment wages to past and current employees.

This recent wage underpayment scandal has come shortly after the Federal Circuit Court fined the owner and manager of a 7-11 store in Melbourne $335,000 for underpaying employees, following an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

While these penalties for underpaying employees seem quite steep, the Attorney General has recently criticised the fine given to Mr. Calombaris as being “too light”.

The Attorney General has also ominously stated that the penalties in this area will be reviewed, and emphasised the need for firmer penalties for underpaying employees, up to and potentially including criminal charges for repeat breaches.

Recent comments from Prime Minister Scott Morrison have confirmed that the Attorney General is indeed in the process of drafting new laws aimed at cracking down on and criminalising the exploitation of workers.

If your business needs advice about how much you have to pay your employees, or if think your business might be underpaying its staff, don’t put off getting expert advice any longer.

Come and see one of our expert employment lawyers today to get affordable comprehensive advice to help protect your business.