Retail workers at specialist food and liquor businesses in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory have been back-paid more than $180,000 in wages.
This follows a campaign by the Fair Work Ombudsman focussing on meat, fish, poultry, fruit and vegetable, liquor and other specialist food stores.
Two hundred and sixty-nine businesses were audited throughout the campaign and 114 were found to be in breach of workplace laws.
Of those in breach, 71 had underpaid staff, 26 had record-keeping breaches only and 17 had both. As a result 77 businesses have back-paid 247 employees $180,441.
Businesses in Merimbula, Canberra, Sydney, Albury, Batemans Bay, Griffith, Newcastle and Wollongong were found to have underpaid workers with underpayments at individual businesses ranging from under $16 to more than $13,000 for five workers at a Sydney fishmonger.
Fair Work Ombudsman, Natalie James, said that while it was disappointing that so many breaches related to underpayments, it was good to see employers willing to fix their mistakes, back-pay their employees and put processes in place to ensure compliance in the future.
Workers or employers seeking information and advice can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman via the website www.fairwork.gov.au, or by calling the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.