Court Fines Hospitality Group For Underpaying Sydney Bar Staff

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9th December 2009, 01:34pm - Views: 702

People Feature Fair Work Ombudsman 1 image

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Fair Work Infoline: 13 13 94 

Media Release

     9 Dec 2009

Court fines hospitality group for underpaying

Sydney bar staff

The operator of a string of Sydney nightspots has been penalised for underpaying

hundreds of its bar staff.

The Bavarian Hospitality Group has been fined $3750 in the Chief Industrial Magistrate’s

Court of NSW.

Chief Industrial Magistrate Gregory Hart imposed the fine yesterday following a

prosecution by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The company admitted inadvertently underpaying approximately 1018 casual employees a

total of $334,000 between October, 2007 and November, 2008.

The employees worked at Lowenbrau Keller (CBD), Bavarian Bier Café (Manly, York Street,

O’Connell Street, Entertainment Quarter and Parramatta), Uber Bar (CBD) and The Argyle


Fair Work inspectors discovered the underpayments last year during a national campaign

which ultimately recouped $1.1 million for 3863 employees.

Bavarian signed its employees to workplace agreements in 2007 which paid slightly above

the minimum hourly rate at that time - but which did not provide for future increases.

The oversight resulted in the workers being paid less than the minimum hourly rate after

minimum pay rates rose on October 1, 2007. The largest underpayment of a single worker

was $3642.

Bavarian has rectified all underpayments, except for $33,000 still owing to former

employees it cannot locate. The company is in the process of completing documentation to

submit this money to the Collector of Public Monies.

Fair Work Ombudsman NSW Director Mark Davidson says that the underpayment of

workers in any circumstance is a serious matter.

“While I accept that Bavarian relied upon incorrect legal advice with respect to its

workplace agreements, it serves to remind employers that the ultimate responsibility for

compliance with workplace law is theirs alone,” he said.

“Doubtless the company has saved itself from a much bigger penalty by fully co-operating

with us and voluntarily rectifying the underpayments.”

Employers or employees seeking information or assistance should contact the Fair Work

Infoline on 13 13 94 or visit For translations call 13 14 50.

The Fair Work Ombudsman promotes harmonious, productive and co-operative

workplaces. It also monitors compliance and investigates breaches of national workplace


Media: Craig Bildstien, 0419 818 484. Ryan Pedler, 0434 365 924.

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