Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Making a Meal of Penalty Rates; Restaurants, Cafes Unaware of Change in Law

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Making a Meal of Penalty Rates; Restaurants, Cafes Unaware of Change in Law

Article excerpt

Byline: PETER WEEKES Business editor

JO MAIDEN and partner Adam Thornton, from the Bangalow Hotel, began offering a special Sunday menu last April to comply with new Trade Practices Act holiday penalty rate requirements.

However, many other restaurants and cafes across the Northern Rivers, which are unaware of the regulations, are facing fines of up to $20,000 for non-compliance.

aWe didn't know about the change until our bookkeeper told us about it,a Ms Maiden said. aWe now have a Sunday menu with prices about 10 per cent higher than the regular menu.a

The long-standing practice of charging customers anaverage 10 per cent surcharge on weekends and public holidays was ruled illegal in May 2009 following an amendment to the Trade Practices Act.

Restaurants and cafes are now required to incorporate any additional surcharge into their menu prices, meaning they must supply a separate weekend/holiday menu if they wish to recoup the additional cost of paying penalty rates to staff. …

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