Pastry king Adriano Zumbo is the latest celebrity chef to face claims
Pastry king Adriano Zumbo is the latest celebrity chef to face claims that employees have been underpaid, with Zumbo Pattiserie staff members complaining in an A Current Affair story aired last night that they had not been paid their superannuation entitlements, and had been paid incorrectly or not on time on a number of occasions.
Staff member Samantha told the program her payslip included a line indicating her superannuation was being paid into a Host super account with the policy number ‘123456789’, but she did not have an account with that provider.
Angry customers have taken to the Zumbo Facebook page this morning to protest the business. “Your croquembouche is nothing but a tower of lies and deceit,” said one disappointed customer.
In a response to the reports, Adriano Zumbo said payment errors had been identified after the implementation of a new overtime system.
“As a result, discrepancies were identified in the calculation, approval and payment of overtime to a limited number of staff,” Zumbo said. While he insists the problem has been resolved and all superannuation payments are now up to date, Zumbo said it “saddens” him that staff didn’t raise their concerns with himself or the HR department prior to reaching out to A Current Affair.
“So where’s my money going? I don’t have an account with Host Super and why haven’t I been paid my super for the past seven months that I’ve been working there?” the disgruntled employee said.
Others interviewed for the show said they’d been paid late, at the wrong rate, and had not been paid for working overtime.
Staff said cakes at Zumbo’s bakeries sold for as much as $300 and many had quit the company due to the ongoing concerns.
ACA approached Zumbo for comment during the story – while he was running to catch a plane – who told the reported that it was the first he’d heard of the staff underpayments.
Zumbo later clarified in a letter to ACA that he was working to rectify the problem.
“In January 2017 a new overtime system was implemented by my business. As a result, a number of discrepancies were identified in the calculation, approval and payment of overtime to a limit number of staff.”
“It saddens me to learn that some of my current and former staff did not share their apparent concerns relating to their working conditions with me or our HR department,” the letter said.
The allegations against Zumbo come as the dust settles on controversy surrounding celebrity chef George Calombaris incorrectly paying workers. His hospitality business, MAdE, was forced to pay back $2.6 million in missing wages.
Zumbo discovered his passion for dessert while working at a supermarket in the small town of Coonamble in NSW. He has since built a dessert empire, spanning four stores in Melbourne and six in Sydney, as well as his own reality TV show.