Human Resources Hospitality Headaches

The second biggest challenge hospitality venue owners face are Human Resources compliancy issues (the first is wage costs).



Did you know the second biggest challenge restaurant and cafe owners face is navigating compliance with Fair Work laws? Many business owners ignore the rules, risking fines and facing legal action. Running a successful hospitality business in Australia requires much more than serving food and drinks. For example, suppose you own two or more hospitality venues with 150+ employees. In that case, you know that complying with Fair Work obligations is essential to your responsibilities. Still, employing a Human Resources Manager is not viable, and you end up dealing with it all yourself.


Keeping up with the complex award system and ensuring compliance can take time and effort. According to the 2021 Survey, 68.7 per cent of respondents identified complexity in the award system as the primary contributor to non-compliance. In this blog, we will discuss the challenges of complying with Fair Work obligations and the steps you can take to ensure compliance in your hospitality business.
One of the main reasons for non-compliance with Fair Work obligations is the complexity of the award system. Hospitality businesses are subject to multiple awards, and understanding the intricacies of each can be a challenge. For example, there are different awards for front-of-house staff, back-of-house staff, and chefs, each with varying pay rates, leave entitlements, and penalty rates. As a business owner, keeping up with these different awards and ensuring compliance with each can be challenging.


The second most common contributor to non-compliance is the view that there are too many obligations on employers. While it is true that hospitality businesses are subject to many commitments, it is essential to prioritize compliance to avoid costly fines and legal issues. One way to simplify your compliance obligations is to use tools and resources provided by Fair Work Australia. These resources include the Fair Work Ombudsman website, which provides information and resources to help employers understand and comply with their obligations.


Another common reason for non-compliance is a need for more education and resources available. As a hospitality business owner, staying updated with changes to the award system and employment laws is essential. You can do this by attending training sessions or seeking advice from a qualified employment lawyer. In addition, many online resources, such as the Fair Work Ombudsman website and industry associations, can provide information and support.

UNDERPAYMENT OF STAFF without realising

Employers who want to save money by underpaying staff are another common reason for non-compliance. Underpaying a team is unethical and can lead to legal consequences. Therefore, ensuring that all employees are paid correctly and under the relevant award is essential. This includes paying penalty rates for overtime, weekends, and public holidays.
Finally, business owners are afraid to admit mistakes in case they are prosecuted, which can prevent them from addressing non-compliance issues. However, it is essential to identify and rectify any non-compliance issues promptly. If you recognise a non-compliance problem, it is crucial to take immediate action to correct it and seek advice from a qualified employment lawyer.

HOW owners can SIMPLIFY THE PROCESS & derisk

In conclusion, compliance with Fair Work obligations is essential for hospitality businesses in Australia. While the award system can be complex, resources are available to help simplify your compliance obligations. By prioritizing compliance, staying up-to-date with changes to employment laws, and seeking advice when necessary, you can ensure that your business is compliant and avoid costly fines and legal issues. As a responsible business owner, you must provide employees with a safe and fair workplace and comply with your obligations under the Fair Work Act.


Contact us at EMPOWER Agency for outsourced support if you need help with the whole Human Resources headache.