Cleaning company ordered to pay $160,000

The Employment Relations Authority ruled that Food City Limited must comply with the minimum employment standards and pay their employees their full wages including sick leave and annual leave entitlements.  Food City also failed to provide employment agreements.

The Labour Inspectorate was called to investigate Food City over concerns about the hours and conditions staff were working under.  Some staff had to stop working because their health was failing, and Food City did not provide sick leave entitlements.  The inspectorate said Food City took advantage of vulnerable workers, who were older and did not speak English.

Cleaners are considered ‘vulnerable workers,’ under the ERA.   It was found Food City’s cleaners at the Northcote Shopping Centre food court, were working 12-hour days up to six days a week but only being paid only the minimum wage for 40 hours.

The Employment Relations Authority ruled Food City had breached the Minimum Wages Act, and had to pay $126,000 in arrears owed to the workers, and $37,000 in penalties.

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