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Fair Work Inspectors Targeting Inner-city Sydney Eateries For Wage Theft

Fair Work inspectors targeting inner-city Sydney eateries for wage theft

Fair Work inspectors will this week target inner-city Sydney eateries to check they are paying staff proper wages and entitlements.

The surprise audits form part of a national campaign designed to crack down on wage theft in addition to other workplace breaches.

Fair Work targeting inner-city Sydney eateries

The regulator is targeting 50 businesses in the Haymarket, Chinatown, Darling Harbour, Barangaroo, Surry Hills and Darlinghurst precincts.

Inspectors will speak with business owners, managers and also employees.

They will also check records to ensure employers are paying proper wages and entitlements and issuing pay slips. 

Visa holders

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said inspectors will focus on eateries employing visa holders.

“Our intelligence indicates inner Sydney food precincts employ many visa holders, who may have limited English skills or understanding of their rights, making them vulnerable to exploitation,” she said.

“All employees have the same basic workplace entitlements, regardless of nationality and visa status.

“Protecting vulnerable employees such as visa holders and improving compliance in the fast food, restaurant and café sector are ongoing priorities for the Fair Work Ombudsman.”

The regulator has an agreement with the Department of Home Affairs called the Assurance Protocol.

It allows visa holders to ask for assistance without fear of visa cancellation.


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National campaign

The audits are the latest in a national campaign to crack down on wage theft by the workplace watchdog.

Previously, the regulator targeted food precincts in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Darwin, Launceston and the Gold Coast.

Meanwhile, an audit of Adelaide’s Chinatown uncovered $189,000 in underpayments affecting 306 workers.

Similarly, inspectors recovered more than $580,000 in unpaid wages for 376 workers.

According to Fair Work, fast food, restaurant and café matters accounted for 36 percent of new litigations in 2020-21.


Please call our specialist team at Fair Work Claims today on

1300 324 748

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Fair Work Claims is a private consultancy and advocacy firm with no affiliation to any government agency, commission or tribunal.

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