By Rebecca Harris

More than $717,000 in unpaid wages will be repaid to hospitality workers following a four-month long investigation by the Federal Workplace Ombudsman.

The campaign found that over 2000 staff from pubs, bars, clubs and taverns across Australia has been underpaid wages for loadings such as casual night-shift and general pay increases.

Workplace ombudsman Nicholas Wilson said that the findings were the result of contacting nearly 8000 employers last August, followed by random audits and unannounced night-time visits.

“We have now finalised 571 audits, with about one third (189) found to be in breach of workplace laws,” he said.

In the Sydney metropolitan area alone, 31 separate hotel visits identified $215,000 in back-payments for shift workers over a four-week period.

Other amounts recovered include $88,088 in Queensland, $55,841 in Western Australia, $13,024 in Victoria and $8206 in South Australia.

Wilson said most employers had voluntarily agreed to resolve the matter but legal action was being considered against one NSW hotel group that allegedly underpaid 300 staff around $170,000.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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