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Chapel Street Bars Raided By Workplace Regulator (Read 60 times)
whiteknight
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Chapel Street Bars Raided By Workplace Regulator
Aug 1st, 2019 at 4:07pm
 
Six Chapel Street bars raided by workplace regulator

July 31, 2019
The Age

Six bars owned by the La La Bar Group on the high-profile Chapel Street strip in Prahran and Windsor were raided by the Fair Work Ombudsman on Wednesday evening to ensure compliance with Australian workplace laws.


Workers were allegedly being underpaid hourly wages, denied workplace entitlements such as overtime and penalty rates and being paid cash-in-hand off the books.   Sad

La La Bar Group runs popular bars on the inner south-east Melbourne strip including Wonderland, Electric Ladyland, Lucky Liquor, Blue Bar and Holy Grail.

The surprise audit followed a Fair Work investigation involving interviews with staff and management at the bars, and a review of internal documents including staff pay slips, rosters and employment records.


Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the audits would help determine if there are workplace issues within the La La Bar Group that need addressing.

“The intelligence we have received about potentially unlawful treatment of staff at the La La Bar Group is concerning, which is why we have taken this action,” Ms Parker said.

An investigation by the Sunday Age in May revealed the hospitality group had been significantly under-paying staff.   Sad

Payslips, documents and interviews with workers showed that staff and supervisors have been regularly paid a flat rate below the minimum rates of the award, the wages safety net.

Current and former staff said the practice has been ongoing since at least the start of the decade. They allege they were regularly not paid penalty rates or even superannuation.

United Voice's Victorian Secretary Ben Redford said the bar group had been caught "red-handed" and raised concerns about the time it has taken for action.

"If La La Bar Group wanted to destroy evidence, their shredding machines have had a full three-month head start."

Mr Redford called on the Minister for Industrial Relations to deliver a "rapid-response" watchdog "with real teeth".

"Our members want to see the Ombudsman take swift and firm action against wage thieves as soon as the information comes to hand."

The Fair Work Ombudsman investigation remains ongoing.
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