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Hospitality industry under fire

A WAGES blitz on restaurants and cafes has authorities claiming an unexpectedly high level of delin-quency in the hospitality industry.

After targeting the restaurant trade in recent weeks, the Department of Consumer and Environmental Protection campaign has revealed a big number of businesses in the hospitality industry are failing to comply with award conditions.

But the crackdown has earned criticism from some sectors of the hospitality industry. Peak body the Restaurant and Caterers Association claims the wages regulation denies operators the ability to properly reward talented staff.

Government inspectors have visited 90 restaurants.

DOCEP spokesman Arthur Hanlon said the campaign had been developed to ensure businesses were complying with the award.

“The restaurant and hospitality industry is generally one of the areas where traditionally there’s been a lot of non compliance,” Mr Hanlon said.

“What happens when inspectors visit (is) they look at the books … there’s a set of books called the time and wages books.

“To put it in perspective, before the inspections began we ran seminars to educate employers with both the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the unions – the department is not really being punitive.”

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