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Shangri-La ripped off $250,000 from Sydney staff

Shangri-La Sydney. (Source: Getty, Shangri La)

Major hotel chain Shangri-La has admitted underpaying Australian staff roughly a quarter of a million dollars.

The revelation followed a review that found employees were not paid their full entitlements in penalty rates and overtime.

A review into pay records, conducted after the Fair Work Ombudsman contacted Shangri-La about reports of underpayment, revealed 22 staff had been underpaid.

The hotel chain said it “sincerely apologises and deeply regrets” its failure to pay staff their correct wages, and that it was undertaking a “series of steps” to ensure the underpayment would not happen again.

“Our staff work incredibly hard and are very committed to their profession and it is our responsibility to ensure that they are paid as they should be,” said Shangri-La general manager Philippe Kronberg said.

“We have spoken to current and former staff who have been impacted and made a commitment to pay them as soon as the reconciliation process is complete.

“We have explained to current staff the changes we have made to the payroll system, including monthly audits, fortnightly reconciliations, and ensuring compliance through education."

There has also been a dedicated number set up for staff to call to raise any concerns about payroll issues.

A spokesperson for the Fair Work Ombudsman told Yahoo Finance: “The Fair Work Ombudsman is conducting an investigation in relation to The Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney.

“As this matter is ongoing, it is not appropriate to comment further at this time.”

Big companies busted for underpayment

The international hotel brand admitted its instances of underpayment on the same week jewellery chain Michael Hill said it had underpaid staff up to $25 million.

Other organisations, such as Merivale, Qantas, the ABCFlight Centrepetrol chains, and franchisees such as Brumby’s, Michel’s Patisserie, Donut King, PappaRich and Chatime have also been found to be withholding the full amount of wages from some staff.

On top of this, the Fair Work Ombudsman has been conducting raids and busting small businesses for underpaying their young, vulnerable staff or exploiting migrant workers.

Workers can make an anonymous report to the FWO on their website or call their Infoline at 13 13 94 for free assistance and information on workplace laws.

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