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Chin Chin ordered to pay back bartender $9500

Sorcha Harrop, 24, scored a big legal win over high profile Melbourne restaurant Chin Chin when she took it to court over wages theft.

The court ordered Chin Chin to pay her almost $10,000.

Chin Chin and owners the Lucas Group have now agreed to back pay her the $9500 that she earned while working at the restaurant between October 2016 and July 2017.

Ms Harrop’s argument was simple:  she worked 14-hour days and did at least 12 hours of free labour each week at the restaurant.

After receiving the long-awaited settlement last week following her extensive battle with the restaurant, she said “we need to change the culture”.

“I love hospitality, I’ve been working in it for six years. I love making drinks, I love talking to people, it’s such a great industry to be a part of when it functions,” Ms Harrop told reporters

“If you can’t pay your rent and you’re getting sick all the time, it doesn’t function.”

The settlement goes beyond just back pay.

It will see Lucas Group conducting an independent audit of current and former employees.

As a result, Ms Harrop will now withdraw her court action against Chin Chin and the Lucas Group.

United Voice Victoria secretary Jess Walsh said wage theft and sexual harassment was not confined to a handful of cases.

She claimed it was “rife” in the hospitality industry.

The union has created a new app, giving workers the ability to rate their employers and inform customers and industry colleagues of the culture of a venue.

“For large parts of hospitality it seems to be a business model to underpay your staff. The repercussions until today for employers have not been enough,” Ms Walsh told AAP.

“It’s time to turn the tables and hold employers accountable.”

She said young hospitality workers were “just as keen to rate places that they think are great places to work.”

by Leon Gettler, December 5th 2017

image - Trip Advisor