July 2018 | Rockpool restaurant empire ripping off workers

Date: 1 July 2018

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald 

The high-profile restaurant business fronted by celebrity chef Neil Perry is significantly underpaying key staff as they work up to 70 hours a week in harsh conditions.

The private-equity owned Rockpool Dining Group, which expects to make $40 million in profits this year, has also put significant pressure on vulnerable migrant workers, an investigation by The Ageand The Sydney Morning Herald has found.

''It’s mental torture,'' said one migrant chef on a temporary work visa, who asked not to be named, fearing deportation from Australia if they lost their job.

Some chefs working for the group are earning as little as half of what they should after being paid for 38 hours per week while actually working up to 15 or 20 hours of unpaid overtime.

In extreme cases, skilled chefs at the Rockpool Dining Group's restaurants are earning as little as $15 per hour some weeks, well below the minimum wage, while working up to 30 hours' unpaid overtime.