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Behind the Headlines

Migrant franchisee discriminates against migrant workers

The migrant Indian operators of a Crust Gourmet Pizza franchise in Tasmania have been penalised $104,000 for discriminating against employees based on their nationality and other breaches of workplace laws, according to a Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) statement.

The alleged discrimination relates to three Bangladeshi and one Indian worker who were underpaid a total of $9,926 and not provided with payslips between January and July 2016. Australian employees who had been paid ordinary rates and provided with payslips were also found to have been underpaid a total of $6,252 after the incorrect application of some Award provisions.

The operators further breached workplace laws by providing FWO inspectors with records that had been altered by the deletion of hours worked by the overseas workers. The Federal Court judge who presided over the case emphasized that the four foreign workers, who were international students at the time, were vulnerable due to their limited understanding of Australian workplace laws and that the conduct towards them was deliberate.

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