The operators of a Brisbane café allegedly paid their employees (particularly with reference to visa workers) in food and drink.

It is reported that visa holders, including junior workers aged under 21, were paid in meals, desserts and drinks over two periods between August 2017 and January 2018, as stated in federal court.

Eleven employees are among those who were paid in food and drinks, and worked as cooks, kitchen attendants and food and beverage attendants.

The company director, co-owner-director and manager are scheduled to face court on February 21 2020.

Fair Work Ombudsman said, “all employees in Australia are entitled to be paid the minimum pay rates that apply to their positions in money, not food.

Businesses should be aware that we are cracking down on the underpayment of vulnerable workers in the fast food, restaurant and café sector as a priority.”

Paying workers in food or drink is a breach of the Fair Work Act, and all workers are entitled to be paid minimal entitlements as per their award.

If the allegations are proven to be true, the business faces maximum penalties of $63,000 per breach, while the directors and operators face maximum penalties of up to $12,600 for every contravention.

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