Court imposes penalty on Broome restauranteur for ‘cash back’ arrangement

This announcement is for: 
Employee / workerEmployer

Martin Long – owner of Broome restaurant Ginreab Thai - has been penalised almost $3,000 for wilfully misleading an industrial inspector.

During 2021, industrial inspectors from the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety inspected regional restaurants and cafes to ensure compliance with state employment laws.

Inspectors identified that Mr Long was not compliant with his WA award obligations and instructed him to remedy the underpayments.

Mr Long admitted to the Industrial Magistrates Court that he had paid an amount of money to an employee to rectify underpaid wages, but then demanded that the employee repay the money – often referred to as a ‘cash back’ arrangement.

As Mr Long had advised an industrial inspector that he had paid the money to the employee, the inspector’s investigation had been closed.

In handing down her decision, Industrial Magistrate Jennifer Hawkins determined that Mr Long’s deliberate conduct had impacted on the Department’s ability to properly enforce obligations, including ensuring that employees were paid their full entitlements.

Private Sector Labour Relations Executive Director Lorraine Field said today industrial inspectors have a statutory duty to ensure employers comply with WA awards and minimum conditions of employment.

“The provision of accurate information by employers is essential to the success of the enforcement regime,” Ms Field said.

“Private Sector Labour Relations can and will take legal action against employers who willfully mislead our inspectors.

“Businesses in the state industrial relations system should also be aware that employment laws are changing early in 2022.

“Penalties will increase significantly and there will be a new prohibition on cash back arrangements where an employer unreasonably requires an employee to pay back money.”

Information on employer obligations and the changes to state employment laws is available at or by calling Wageline on 1300 655 266.

Media Contact: Caroline De Vaney, 6251 2363 or 0408 927 563 (media enquiries only)

Labour Relations
Media release
22 Dec 2021

Last modified: