Din Tai Fung accused of underpayments

They made the “world’s tastiest dumplings” but alleged stolen wages left them bitter.

Workers at popular dumpling restaurant chain Din Tai Fung were systemically underpaid thousands of dollars, denied days off and given fake timesheets, the Fair Work Ombudsman has alleged.

DTF World Square – the operator of restaurants inside Melbourne’s Emporium, Sydney’s World Square and Westfield Chatswood shopping centres – is now facing a multi-million-dollar fine after alleged serious breaches of the Fair Work Act.

The restaurants are among 11 Australian sites in the DTF Group, which boasts it is “globally known to serve the world’s tastiest dumplings”.

Reminiscent of the 7-Eleven wage scandal, DTF WS and a related entity are accused of creating two versions of payroll records for 17 underpaid employees.

One set of records showed workers’ exact entry and exit from the workplace and their “payroll hourly rates” while a false version pretended workers were getting the award rate and penalty rates and doing no overtime, a statement of claim before the Federal Court alleges.

The restaurants are also accused of requesting or requiring employees to work 100 hours a fortnight without paying overtime, failing to give the minimum eight days off a month and not recording that some employees were partially paid in cash.

The FWO claim states cash payments ceased in the weeks after investigations began.

A full-time cook in Sydney was underpaid $50,588 over four years while 16 cooks, waiters and other workers are entitled to a share of $107,000 over work performed in the eight months to June 2018, the regulator alleges.

Former DTF WS director Dendy Herjanto, DTF Group general manager Hannah “Vera” Handoko and a human resources manager have been named as accessories to the alleged contraventions.

Justice Anna Katzmann last week authorised the FWO to serve the claim on Mr Herjanto in Singapore, where the Indonesia-born man is now understood to reside.

The judge was satisfied the claim had been brought to the attention of the two managers, despite them not yet acknowledging receipt.

No defence has been filed with the court by any of the five respondents.

Din Tai Fung has been contacted for comment.

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