No awards for compliance

Establishments found to be operating in contravention of the Trade Practices Act are served with a notice and given time to become compliant before prosecution is commenced.

“Some of the breaches are very small and some are non-monetary issues,” Mr Hanlon said.

“Some employers just didn’t understand the necessary requirements, like split shift allowances … or the rules for paying casuals.”

Restaurant and Caterers Association State president Harry Ferrante was very critical of the return to award wages, claiming it removed any incentive for staff to work harder and move through the ranks.

Mr Ferrante said the industry had its own code of ethics to ensure people do the right thing regarding the payment of staff.

“We should infuse as much professionalism into the industry as possible and we have to pay what’s reasonable and fair,” he said.

“The majority of my members basically remunerate staff to the degree of professionalism they bring to the job.

“I advocate the (workplace agreements) system above anything else … of course you need a safety net,” Mr Ferrante said.

“But with the award you go back to where nothing in done and innovation and creativity is destroyed.

“We most probably employ more people in the industry than anyone else when you consider the affiliated industries.

“I think it’s a pity the Government just follows the folly of philosophical beliefs and screws up something as noble and innovative (as workplace agreements).”

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