Calombaris accused of ignoring penalty rates … ACCC warns against pop-up scams … Treasurer rules out negative gearing changes

George Calombaris

Source: AAP Image/Adrian Buman

By Dominic Powell and Emma Koehn

The chief executive of George Calombaris’ MaDE Establishment has rejected claims by former employees that staff at the celebrity chef’s restaurant empire regularly worked more than 50 hours per week without receiving correct penalty rates.

Fairfax reports a number of former staff members have alleged the group often moved staff members to salaried positions and asked workers to be present for 50 hours each week without additional compensation.

Last week the MaDE Group pledged to back-pay $2.6 million in entitlements to workers after an audit from KPMG revealed “poor processes” had led to the underpayment of more than 100 workers.

Chief executive of MaDE Troy McDonagh told Fairfax he rejects claims that the restaurants had deliberately engaged in underpayments.

“I can confidently say this was a symptom of errors of processes, not any intent or strategy,” he said.

ACCC warns against “nasty” pop-up scams

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued a warning about dodgy internet pop-up scams that can lead to malicious software being installed.

Known as “remote access scams”, the attacks usually present themselves as pop-up windows that can freeze your computer and lure unsuspecting users into calling fraudulent support lines.

These lines will then request remote access to a user’s computer, which can then be used for malicious activity.

The ACCC has received 300 reports of such scams each month this year, costing the victims of the scams more than $41,000.

“Once a scammer has remote access to your computer they can install malicious software, steal your personal data, con you into paying for a ‘service’ of your PC or sell you unnecessary software to fix a problem that doesn’t exist,” ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard said in a statement.

“These scammers are very convincing and sound like they’re the real deal when talking about tech issues. The pop-ups they create to lure people in look legitimate and are often made to imitate trusted websites for brands like Microsoft and Apple.”

The ACCC advises the best course of action is to end the task via Task Manager on Windows, or Activity Monitor on Mac, or to just shut down your PC.

Morrison rules out negative gearing changes in upcoming budget

Treasurer Scott Morrison has ruled out making any changes to negative gearing arrangements in next month’s federal budget, reports the ABC.

In a pre-budget address to the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute today, Morrison said the government will not change the tax concessions despite the reforms being a point of contention in the 2016 election.

“Disrupting negative gearing would not come without a cost, especially to renters, let alone the wider economic impacts,” Morrison said.

“This would not be good news for the 30 percent of Australian households who rent.”

Morrison said making changes to negative gearing would be “playing with fire”, and instead, more private investment in affordable housing was key to “boost supply”.

“We don’t need to spend more, and it’s not necessarily about spending less, provided we spend it better,” he said.

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