The Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia (FECCA) has thanked the Fair Work Ombudsman for recovering $472,000 as a result of a series of audits carried out at several restaurants around the country, leading to the discovery of 616 cases of underpaid workers.

The Fair Work Ombudsman audited a number of fast food restaurants in the cities of Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney and found that around 72 per cent of the 243 businesses questioned were in violation of the laws regarding the workplace.

“FECCA applauds the continuing vigilance of the Fair Work Ombudsman on this issue,” said FECCA chairperson, Mary Patetchos.

“The reality is that a great number of workers in these businesses are from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. In too many cases they are being exploited by operators in the food and beverage industry. We call on employers to do the right thing and abide by workplace laws. And we urge workers in these businesses to learn about their legal entitlements to payment and conditions.”