George Calombaris’s restaurant group, MADE Establishment Pty Ltd, has back-paid workers $7.8 million in wages and superannuation after entering into a Court-Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO).
The MADE Establishment was investigated by the FWO following its self-disclosure of underpayments at the Press Club in Melbourne’s CBD and Hellenic Republic restaurants in Kew, Williamstown and Brunswick back in 2017, when it was first estimated that workers were owed $2.6 million.
The FWO investigation found that MADE Establishment had failed to pay staff at the correct award levels under the Restaurant Industry Award and that underpayments had been made because they had failed to correctly apply annualised salary arrangements for some staff. It had also failed to conduct annual reconciliations to check that workers on annual salary arrangements were paid for overtime and penalty rates worked.
Not only has MADE Establishment back-paid workers, but it has also been ordered to pay a $200,000 contrition payment to the Commonwealth Government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund and are required to pay for external auditors to check pay and conditions across the group until the EU expires in 2022. Founder and shareholder George Calombaris is also required to complete speaking engagements to educate the industry on the importance of workplace compliance.
So what does this all mean for you and your business? The failings of MADE Establishments serves as a reminder to all employers to ensure that workplace compliance is addressed at the very beginning to avoid mistakes that could cost the company both time and money in the future. Not to mention bad press!
If you’re concerned that your business might not be complying with its obligations, call our office today on 07 5444 1022 to organise an obligation-free compliance audit.
Harry McDonald is a solicitor admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Queensland, practising in the Commercial and Property Law team at Greenhalgh Pickard Solicitors. Within commercial law, Harry has a keen interest in employment law and enjoys assisting commercial clients in all areas of their employment & industrial relations with experience in employment contracts, sub-contractor agreements, restraint clauses, unfair dismissals, general protections, workplace policies and guidelines and general HR advice.