Australian hospitality giant accused of going to ‘shocking’ lengths to avoid paying casuals penalty rates

1 day ago 2

A hospitality elephantine is facing calls to negociate with its workers aft pushing unit towards a caller workplace woody that could fto it debar paying punishment rates.

The Queensland-based Mantle Group Hospitality has legally avoided paying its casuals play and nationalist vacation rates done a alleged “zombie” statement archetypal signed successful 1999.

The “zombie” woody was quashed past twelvemonth by the Fair Work Commission but, during the dispute, Mantle reportedly moved its unit connected to different workplace deal. It claims the caller statement has been “well-received” and it intends to wage play loadings and penalties.

Mantle Group Hospitality, owned by Godfrey Mantle, owns 15 venues crossed south-east Queensland and 2 successful Sydney. These see Jimmy’s connected the Mall successful Brisbane’s CBD, The Squire’s Landing connected Sydney Harbour, different James Squire brewhouse venues successful Brisbane, arsenic good arsenic respective restaurants.

The casuals among Mantle’s much than 700 unit were covered by the statement with Hot Wok Food Makers until it was besides terminated by the committee this month.

Days aft that ruling, Mantle Group wrote successful a missive to “all casual staff” that they would person their employment cease connected 23 January. The aforesaid time unit received occupation offers nether a caller workplace statement for a antithetic entity, KGS Staff Pty Ltd. The communicative was archetypal reported by the Australian Financial Review.

The caller KGS statement does not see a provision for play punishment rates and says workers tin beryllium asked to swap each nationalist holidays that pull punishment rates for different days.

A Mantle Group Hospitality spokesperson denied it would nonstop unit to swap nationalist holidays and suggested the EBA was a “minimum”. The spokesperson said “weekend loading” and nationalist vacation punishment rates would apply.

Maurice Blackburn main Giri Sivaraman, who represented workers challenging the Mantle agreements, noted the explanation of “ordinary hourly rate” successful the caller woody said the “weekend complaint was inclusive of penalties”.

“Yet nether the award, the complaint is not inclusive of penalties,” helium said. “You get penalties for moving weekends and nationalist holidays [under the award].”

Terminating the 1999 “zombie agreement” past year, Fair Work commissioner Jennifer Hunt said it was a “disgrace” the woody had allowed the institution to debar paying punishment rates for “at least” the “last decade”. This month, the afloat seat of the committee besides said it was considering referring a Mantle authoritative to the national constabulary implicit misleading grounds during the Hot Wok case.

United Workers Union organiser Martin de Rooy said Mantle Group had gone to “shocking” lengths to debar paying entitlements implicit a agelong period.

“The impetus to each of this was the 22-year-old zombie statement being terminated,” helium said. “That was lone done due to the fact that young workers said, ‘enough’s enough’ and applied to terminate it.

“Following Hot Wok being quashed, Mantle Group person made offers to workers to enactment them connected yet different substandard agreement. Instead of doing that, Mantle Group should negociate with its workers and the union.”

The caller wage connection besides has a clause preventing unit from disclosing “confidential information” including “the employment statement and its contents”.

A Mantle Group Hospitality spokesperson said KGS Staff Pty Ltd’s casual employees would beryllium “paid a 225% loading connected the grant basal complaint for nationalist holidays specified arsenic Australia Day”.

The spokesperson said the EBA requirements are what KGS Staff Pty Ltd indispensable comply “with astatine a minimum” and the institution would wage each employees “rates good supra the award”.

“Employees person been communicated with via correspondence and venue briefings that loading volition use to weekends and unit volition not beryllium required to swap nationalist holidays to different day designated by KGS Staff Pty Ltd,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said “casual employees bash person a higher complaint of wage for hours worked connected a Saturday, Sunday and nationalist vacation compared to a weekday”. The institution was “confident” the wage and conditions “more than meets the existent marketplace conditions successful the hospitality industry”.

Sivaraman said it had been similar “playing whack-a-mole with Mantle Group”. “How bash agelong we person to prosecute them until they hold to conscionable with the national and negociate a just dinkum EBA?” helium said.

The Mantle Group’s 23 January missive is addressed arsenic “ATTN: each casual staff”, but the Mantle Group spokesperson did not accidental however galore casual unit had been moved connected to the caller agreement.

The spokesperson said the “transfer has been good received, contrary to what has been reported”.

The FWC’s 11 January written determination quashing the Hot Wok statement besides said it was considering referring Mantle Group’s quality resources main Darren Latham to the AFP for perchance giving mendacious oregon misleading accusation astir that wage deal.

The Mantle Group spokeswoman said Hot Wok was appealing the 11 January determination quashing that workplace statement to the national tribunal “on the ground of bias” and it was not due to remark further.