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Calombaris pledges to reimburse underpaid staff

The heat is on Masterchef judge George Calombaris.

That follows revelations last week that former staff at his restaurant empire are still waiting to get their back pay for missing wages and entitlements and that they have to wait until June 2018 before they their money.

The money in question amounted to millions of dollars, all because the Calombaris company Made Establishment, which runs Hellenic RepublicGazi and the Press Club, had failed to resolve a disastrous payroll bungle. 

Made Establishment has now announced that it will settle all claims by mid-October.

CEO Troy McDonagh has notified staff that all monies will paid.

It’s all contained in a letter he sent to former and current staff members.

The letter makes it clear there is a payment deadline. “We are committed to reconciling and settling your claim by Friday, October 13, 2017,” the letter says.

It says any claims received after October 13 will be processed and resolved within four weeks of submission.

All that comes after the Fair Work Ombudsman was called in.

That happened after an internal audit revealed there were significant discrepancies on the payroll and underpayments to the group’s employees.

The bottom line however is that the Ombudsman alerted the group to those discrepancies in its payroll as early as 2015.

The Fair Work Ombudsman took a dim view of the situation and posted signs around Melbourne's CBD featuring a photograph of the Masterchef judge.

The photo had the words 'Does this guy owe you money?' 

And naturally, it went viral on social media.

Calombaris can’t take a trick at the moment.

Last week, he pleaded guilty to assaulting a 19-year-old man in May during the soccer grand final between Melbourne Victory and winners Sydney FC.

There was even footage of the event showing Calombaris approaching the fan after the man yelled abuse at him over the underpaid wages of his restaurant employees.