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WA karaoke workers receive back pay

Workers from five karaoke bars in Perth and Melbourne have received almost $11,000 in recovered wages after surprise raids by Fair Work officers.

The unexpected inspections were carried out on the bars, three in Perth and two in Melbourne, in October last year under the Fair Work Ombudsman's Taskforce Cadena.

All were found to be in breach of their obligations to properly award staff, with deputy ombudsman Michael Campbell on Monday describing the employers' understanding of workplace laws as "rudimentary, at best".

Almost $11,000 was recovered for 19 employees, who were short-changed their minimum wages between September 28 and November 11, 2015.

The underpayments were primarily in a lower-than-minimum hourly rate, casual loading and penalties for serving staff and those who set up the karaoke rooms.

Mr Campbell said in a statement there were indications some of the employers had retrospectively created pay slips and paid tax in an effort to conceal the extent of underpayments after October's inspections.

All five businesses have been earmarked for follow-up inspections in six months.

AAP

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