Top Juice pays back $32,435 in back wages

Top Juice pays back $32,435 in back wages

Australian beverages organisation Top Juice has paid $32,435 (£18,428) in unpaid wages to employees, following on from an investigation by The Fair Work Ombudsman.

The employer failed to pay the wages of 18 employees across 16 outlets across eastern Australia. The Fair Work Ombudsman inspectors found that seven of the 16 establishments were non-compliant with workplace laws including its five franchise stores, with five outlets underpaying employees and two breaching payslip obligations.

The most common breach of the law was establishments failing to pay employees for overtime or public holidays, with underpayments of the minimum hourly rate being another common breach.

Overall, $29,394 (£16,700) was recovered for 13 employees in Melbourne, $2,597 (£1,475) for employees in Sydney and $453 (£2.57) for an employee in Canberra.15 of the 18 employees were visa holders on student and working holiday visas.

Sandra Parker, the fair work ombudsman at the Australian Government, said: “The investigation into the Top Juice network was based upon complaints we had received from migrant employees, including international students, who can be particularly vulnerable due to their visa status and may have limited understanding of their workplace rights.

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“The Fair Work Ombudsman continues to focus on improving workplace compliance among franchises in the food industry this year. While the Top Juice investigation commences prior to the pandemic, The Fair Work Ombudsman has continued to enforce workplace laws in a proportionate manner, as we know the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has had a significant impact on many businesses in the fast food, restaurant and café industry.”

Top Juice was unavailable to comment at the time of publication.