Aug 2018 | 'That's slavery': Chef at Nowra restaurant claims he was underpaid $200k

Date: 1 Aug 2018

Source: ABC

Midhun Basi quit his job as a chef at the Adithya Kerala restaurant in Nowra on the weekend, after what he said was months of 12-hour days, six days a week.

The time sheets he kept showed he worked at least 70 hours a week. But he was only ever paid for 38 — with no overtime, and no penalty rates.

"We had to do all the work, including cleaning, delivery, preparing service," he said.

"Everything was getting a bit tough."

On top of that, he said the restaurant's owner, Vaisakh Usha, made him pay back $511 of his wages in cash each fortnight — telling him it was to help pay the restaurant's tax bills and rent.

Mr Basi said when he did not have enough money to pay, his employer deducted the amount from his wages.

"I would not dare to ask him anything, because I was scared that maybe he [would] cancel my visa and send me back to India," he said.

"Whatever he said, I trusted him."