About 70 per cent of hospitality workers in Australia have experienced verbal or psychological abuse at work, including sexual harassment and racial abuse, a new report has found.
Customers were the main perpetrators but 42 per cent of respondents also said their managers or supervisors had abused them. I’m disgusted but not surprised.
The University of Queensland Business School surveyed nearly 400 hospo workers nationwide in early 2022 to see how their working experiences aligned with the five Fairwork Principles: contracts, pay, working conditions, management and representation. The results weren’t great.
Associate Professor Richard Robinson who lead the report said failures were seen across each of the principles.
“The results exposed deep cultural issues in the hospitality industry with poor behaviours and practices that have become normalised and systemic,” Dr Robinson said.
The same survey was conducted in New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, Norway and Greece and it turns out the results aligned.
“The results were consistent, indicating systemic issues in hospitality worldwide,” he said.
In Australia, abuse towards hospitality workers was the most worrying result, but underpayment and contracts were also significant concerns.
About half of respondents said they had been underpaid.
Almost 20 per cent said they had not even received the minimum hourly pay rates legally required or were unsure about their rights and whether they were paid the right rate. About 45 per cent also reported not receiving overtime or penalty rate loading legal entitlements, while more than 30 per cent said they never even saw a contract or written terms for their current job. Dodgy AF.
Unfortunately, these stats don’t come as a surprise.
Every month a new hospitality scumbag is exposed in the media for stealing wages from staff and now, when people are turning away from hospo jobs, they’re blaming poor work ethic, laziness and labour shortages. Buy buddy, the problem is you, and the industry that’s turned a blind eye to exploitation and allowed these entitled attitudes to fester.
Dr Robinson said if employers wanted more staff, they’d better do something to entice them.
“Unless all industry leaders and business owners address these cultural issues at their core, we’ll return to an imbalance of power when labour market dynamics change,” he said.
And honestly there is a dedicated wing in hell for people who talk down to workers in any industry.
“The general public should be aware that the people serving them in restaurants, cafes, hotels and clubs are often under immense strain — and we should cut them some slack,” Dr Robinson said.