Dinner by Heston has gone under owing back pay to a significant number of its employees.
The shock announcement comes after Tipsy Cake Pty Ltd, the company behind the high-end restaurant at Crown Melbourne, failed to comply with a statutory notice requiring it to calculate and back pay entitlements to workers.
The company was put into provisional liquidation by the Federal Court on the final date for compliance which was 20 December 2019.
The Fair Work Ombudsman began an investigation into Tipsy Cake after underpayment allegations were made.
The Fair Work Inspector believed that Tipsy Cake had paid some employees at Dinner By Heston an annualised salary that was not sufficient to cover the weekend and public holiday penalty rates, annual leave loading and overtime rates they were entitled to under the Hospitality Industry (General) Award.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said it was disappointing that Tipsy Cake was not able to resolve outstanding underpayment issues before being placed into provisional liquidation.
“Tipsy Cake was aware that a significant amount of wages and entitlements were owing to many workers who had been underpaid,” Parker said.
“The circumstances of this matter are disappointing. The Fair Work Ombudsman will liaise with the provisional liquidator and other relevant stakeholders in order to assist the employees to recover their entitlements.”
The company issued a statement to The Sydney Morning Herald.
“The voluntary appointment of the provisional liquidators will enable appropriate actions to continue the restaurant’s current successful and profitable trading and to fulfil its obligations,” the statement said.
“Heston Blumenthal does not own the restaurant which operates under a licence to Tipsy Cake. He has had no ownership of any restaurant business anywhere in the world since 2006.”