A group operating nine restaurants across Australia has been fined for underpaying 23 workers $800,000 and banned from sponsoring foreign workers for two years.
The China Chilli Holding Group that operates Sichuan cuisine restaurants in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide was fined $131,400 for the breach, following an investigation by the Australian Border Force (ABF).
The group was found to have underpaid 23 workers $799,575 between July 2019 and November 2020.
The ABF said the group provided evidence that it had corrected the underpayments.
ABF acting commander of enforcement operations in the eastern region, Garry Low, said all Australian workers had the right to be paid properly, including holders of sponsored visas.
“Sponsored workers must be paid at least the salary approved by the Department of Home Affairs at the time of nomination,” Commander Low said.
He said where underpayment or other noncompliance was found, sponsors would be required to repay wages owed to employees.
“They also face harsh fines, cancellation of sponsorship agreements and being barred from making further applications to sponsor workers,” Commander Low said.