Business Advice

Adriano Zumbo accused of staff underpayments … Victoria to launch traineeship taskforce … New underquoting laws now in action

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By Dominic Powell and Emma Koehn

Pastry king Adriano Zumbo is the latest celebrity chef to face claims that employees have been underpaid, with Zumbo Pattiserie staff members complaining in an A Current Affair story aired last night that they had not been paid their superannuation entitlements, and had been paid incorrectly or not on time on a number of occasions.

Staff member Samantha told the program her payslip included a line indicating her superannuation was being paid into a Host super account with the policy number ‘123456789’, but she did not have an account with that provider.

Angry customers have taken to the Zumbo Facebook page this morning to protest the business. “Your croquembouche is nothing but a tower of lies and deceit,” said one disappointed customer.

In a response to the reports, Adriano Zumbo said payment errors had been identified after the implementation of a new overtime system.

“As a result, discrepancies were identified in the calculation, approval and payment of overtime to a limited number of staff,” Zumbo said. While he insists the problem has been resolved and all superannuation payments are now up to date, Zumbo said it “saddens” him that staff didn’t raise their concerns with himself or the HR department prior to reaching out to A Current Affair.

Victoria to get traineeship taskforce 

The Victorian government will establish a “focused taskforce” to support apprenticeships and traineeships in the state.

Victorian Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney launched the taskforce this week, hoping to use representatives of peak bodies to help bolster apprencticeships across the state, reports The Australian.

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), says the taskforce is expected to investigate issues within the sector by seeking specific experiences of apprentices and employers and then determining what actions could be carried out to fix those issues.

“We are pleased to be a part of this taskforce and look forward to contributing and sharing the Victorian Chamber’s experience backing Apprenticeships Support Australia, which has assisted more than 70,000 businesses to sign up more than 200,000 apprentices and trainees,” Victorian Chamber acting chief executive Bryce Prosser said in a statement.

In early 2016 it was revealed the number of people starting apprenticeships or traineeships was down almost 20%, with the total number of apprentices falling 130,000 in the two years prior.

“This is a concern because skilled workers are essential in many industries and apprenticeships and traineeships are a pathway to this,” Prosser said.

The Victorian government also used this week’s budget to announce $8.2 million in additional funding for its Apprentice Support Officers program, which places support officers at TAFE campuses to work with apprentices and their families.

Real estate agents face new penalties on underquoting

Victorian real estate agents could now face penalties for underquoting on properties, after the state’s new underquoting laws came into effect on May 1.

Designed to be complementary to misleading and deceptive conduct laws in Australian Consumer Law, the laws outline new obligations for estate agents in relation to a property’s estimated selling price, the comparable property sales, advertising prices, and the property’s Statement of Information.

Estimated prices must be “reasonable”, and be in the form of a single price or a range of up to 10%. Comparable properties must be in a similar standard condition to the property being sold, along with being within a certain kilometre distance of the property being sold.

Contraventions of the new laws could see agents facing penalties of more than $31,000, along with potentially losing any commission on the sale.

More information on the new underquoting laws is available on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.

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  • wormseye

    Just another cheap crook, like all these so-called ‘celebrity’ ringpieces.

  • Auss1e

    Did Zumbo talk at all during the interview or was Rachael Khoo standing next to him answering everything?