Following revelations George Calombaris’ company underpaid staff more than $7.83 million, the celebrity chef’s case is back in the spotlight.
In a Senate estimate committee on Wednesday, it was heard that a fine handed to Made Establishment for $200,000 could very well have been higher.
“We will in future take into account the size of the underpayment as a major factor,” Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said.
“We didn’t make it as high a priority, as we think clearly the public and others believe we should.”
While Ms Parker said that Fair Work would have liked the payment to be higher, she revealed that it was the company’s financial position that in part determined the amount of the fine.
“We require them to provide statements and we discuss that with them,” Ms Parker said.
“Those are matters that are commercial in confidence. They were a factor in this case.”
Among those who thought Calombaris got off lightly, Attorney-General Christian Porter indicated that the government would be pushing ahead with new wage theft penalties.
According to reports, 515 staff, including both current and former employees of the Press Club, Gazi and Hellenic Republic, were underpaid for work between 2011 and 2017.