MELBOURNE, May 14 — A restaurant owner who brought a Malaysian to Melbourne to work as a chef and paid him less than A$10,000 (RM27,000) over 18 months has been fined A$180,000.
Businessman Hong Poh Meng and his company, Penang Kayu Nasi Kander Ltd, which traded as Kayu@Boxhill, admitted breaching 11 workplace laws, including underpaying a full-time cook A$76,000, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reports.
Two 19-year-old casual waitresses were underpaid A$4,876 and A$899 respectively.
Hong was fined A$25,000 and the company was penalised A$158,400 in the Melbourne magistrates court yesterday for the breaches, which occurred between 2005 and 2007.
Workplace Ombudsman executive director Michael Campbell said Hong admitted bringing the Malaysian national to Melbourne and then paying him just A$9,650 for 18 months' work in his restaurant.
"This was less than 12 per cent of the minimum amount the man was entitled to receive," Campbell said in a statement.
"This sort of blatant exploitation is completely unacceptable."
AAP said the company repaid the cook A$10,600 and the two waitresses a combined amount of A$805 after the Workplace Ombudsman began investigating the case in 2007.
But magistrate Kate Hawkins ordered the company to pay the chef A$65,341 in outstanding wages and another A$4,128 and A$841 to the waitresses.
She said the cook was subjected to a "pattern of exploitation" and was particularly vulnerable because of his immigration status.
The underpayments were "staggering" and "defied belief", Hawkins said. — Bernama
How do we know what is the minimum wages we should be drawing? Apart from the JOBSTREET info / comparison, i don't really know. Is it depends on our outlook? attitude? ways of kissing people's a@@? hehe...