Browse Directory

Chinese restaurant chain fined for underpaying workers

China Chilli Holding Group has had a two year ban on sponsoring foreign workers placed on it, after a probe found 23 of its staff were underpaid to the tune of $800,000.

It was established that the group had underpaid 23 workers $799,575 between July 2019 and November 2020.

China Chilli runs nine Sichuan cuisine restaurants throughout Australia, including in in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.

Following an investigation by the Australian Border Force (ABF), the group was fined $131,400 for the breach.

Garry Low, ABF acting commander of enforcement operations in the eastern region, said “Sponsored workers must be paid at least the salary approved by the Department of Home Affairs at the time of nomination,” Commander Low said.

He noted that all Australian workers had the right to be paid properly, including sponsored visa holders.

Low added that in the instances where underpayment or other noncompliance was established, the group would have to repay wages owed to employees.

“They also face harsh fines, cancellation of sponsorship agreements and being barred from making further applications to sponsor workers,” Commander Low said.

It should be noted that China Chilli Holdings Group has since provided evidence that it has corrected the underpayments.


Irit Jackson, 13th April 2021