BALLARAT cafes, restaurants and catering businesses will be targeted by a new Fair Work campaign cracking down on employers in breach of workplace rights.
Audits will begin in the next few weeks, with more than a dozen Ballarat businesses expected to come under the scrutiny of the Fair Work ombudsman in the coming year.
Inspectors will check that businesses are paying employees minimum entitlements, including hourly rates, shift loadings and penalty rates, maintaining appropriate records and providing pay slips.
Fair Work ombudsman Natalie James said cafes, restaurants and caterers generated a large amount of complaints nationwide.
“The sector employs many young workers who can be vulnerable if they are not fully aware of their workplace rights,” she said. “They can often be reluctant to complain.
“While it’s important we ensure workers are receiving their full entitlements, we’ll also work with industry bodies and individual business to ensure employers are aware of their obligations and meet them.”
Last financial year, the ombudsmen recovered $287,157 for 154 cafe, catering and restaurant workers in Victoria.
It acted in only one case in Ballarat, recovering $1016 for one worker.
The latest round of audits will be conducted across Australia and form the second phase of a wider three-year campaign focusing on the hospitality industry.
Fair Work audited accommodation providers, pubs, taverns and bars earlier this year and plans to focus on takeaway food operators in early 2014.