Celebrity chef Neil Perry has hit back at claims his restaurant empire is ripping off migrant workers, insisting the business is operating fully within employment laws.
Some chefs working for Rockpool Dining Group are earning $15 per hour some weeks, well below the minimum wage, while working up to 30 hours' unpaid overtime, according to a Fairfax Media investigation.
Separately, company emails seen by Fairfax tell workers how not to record the hours they worked.
Mr Perry sold Rockpool Dining Group in 2016, but remains involved as the group's chief brand and culinary director and a significant shareholder.
Neil Perry's (pictured) has hit back at claims that Rockpool Dining Group has ripped off migrant workers
Mr Perry said the Rockpool Dining Group offered Australians and employees on working visas opportunities to learn and grow their skills in restaurants.
'It's a sad day when a few people try to undermine the amazing work of so many who contribute to making our restaurants great; especially when we operate fully within the employment laws of this country,' he said in a statement on Sunday.
Rockpool Group's chief executive Thomas Pash said the report was based on questionable documents the company wasn't allowed to see.
'These allegations are spurious, inaccurate and give an incomplete picture of our practices,' Mr Pash said in a statement.
He said the company's time attendance system registered hours worked to manage rosters, assign days off in lieu and pay overtime in line with award rates.
'Our permanent employees are remunerated in line with, and in many cases well above, the industry award,' Mr Pash said.
'It's a sad day when a few people try to undermine the amazing work of so many who contribute to making our restaurants great; especially when we operate fully within the