A case of underpaid young hospitality workers having their wages topped up with pizza and soft drink exposes the consequences of the push from business and the Coalition for more workplace flexibility, the ACTU said today.

The Fair Work Ombudsman revealed today over 100 mostly teenaged employees of a pair of Melbourne pizza restaurants had been underpaid by over a quarter of a million dollars.

It has been reported the restaurant owner believed he could ‘top up’ their sub-minimum wage pay packets by providing pizza and soft drinks.

“It’s easy for business to rail against red tape – but the consequences of cutting regulation are that more workers will miss out on their pay and entitlements with no recourse,” said ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver. 

“Business has been out making their views on workplace relations very clear: they don’t want to pay penalty rates, they don’t want to pay additional superannuation, they want more ‘flexibility’ – but all on their own terms.

“When the Coalition says it will introduce individual flexibility agreements into our industrial relations system, it is paving the way for more employers to pay their workers in pizza rather than fair wages.”

The ACTU reminds all workers concerned they are not receiving their correct pay and entitlements to get advice from a union.

Australian Unions are holding ‘check your pay day’ on 12 July – urging workers to call our helpline on 1300 4 UNION (1300 4 86466) to get expert advice on what they should be paid – and what to do if their pay is incorrect.