Singapore craft brewery RedDot BrewHouse has been accused of underpaying staff during the construction of its first overseas outlet in Melbourne, Australia.
According to Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), RedDot allegedly underpaid a Filipino welder over $20,000 for his work on their new brewery.
The Australian Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) said that the employee had signed a contract for a $55,000 yearly salary, but that was slashed to $36,000 without the worker's knowledge.
FWO documents also said that the employee was invited to work in Australia by Reddot, and promised visa sponsorship for a period of four years. However, RedDot ended up employing him for less than four months, and also did not proceed with visa sponsorship for him.
SMH said in its article that the worker was not paid for almost half of all the hours that he put in, and was also not paid the penalty rates (usually paid on top of basic pay) for working overtime or on holiday shifts.
The paper also reported that RedDot owner Ng Kah Hoe had said that it was too expensive to hire workers in Australia. He reportedly also accused the worker for "disappointing and slow" work.
Enforcement action has been taken against RedDot, and Ng has since signed a pact to comply with workplace laws as well as pay the employee all outstanding wages, SMH said.
"Migrant employers simply cannot undercut the minimum lawful entitlements of their employees based on what they think the job may be worth, what the employee is happy to accept, what other businesses are paying or what the job may pay in their country of origin," Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James told SMH.
"There are minimum pay rates, they apply to everyone - including visa-holders - and they are not negotiable for any reason," she said.