July 18, 2019 / 6:47 AM / 5 months ago

Sour taste: Australian celebrity chef underpaid employees $5.62 million

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian celebrity chef said on Thursday he had underpaid hundreds of his restaurant employees by nearly A$8 million (4.5 million pounds) over six years.

George Calombaris - who shot to worldwide fame through his role on the television show “Masterchef” - said he would repay 515 current and former employees who were underpaid between 2011 and 2017.

“We apologise to all our affected team members, past and present,” Calombaris said in a statement.

“It is our priority to ensure all of our employees feel respected, rewarded and supported in their roles.”

The underpayments came to light after a four-year investigation by Australia’s Fair Work Ombudsman, which looks into workplace complaints

Calombaris was also fined A$200,000 as part of a “contrition payment”.

Australia’s hospitality union, United Voice, criticised the fine as too small.

“If someone deliberately took $1,000 out of someone else’s bank account, there would be a high likelihood of a criminal conviction for theft,” the union’s national secretary, Jo-anne Schofield, said in a statement.

“But when you’re a multimillionaire restaurateur, celebrity chef, you can take $7.83 million in wages from your workers and get away with a contrition payment.”

(This story corrects spelling of chef in headline.)

Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Robert Birsel

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below