MasterChef host George Calombaris apologises for underpaying staff

More than 160 people employed by the restaurant empire controlled by celebrity chief George Calombaris have received $2.

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6 million in back payments.

The money was paid after Calombaris’ MAdE Establishment Group found payroll “discrepancies” in overtime calculations for 162 workers.

“It’s an example of a business that was in growth and just didn’t have, at the time, the necessary processes and systems in needed,” MadE Chief Executive Troy McDonagh said.

“I am so sorry we have messed up and let you down on a fundamental issue, which is to ensure our people are paid their full entitlements,” the MasterChef host said in a statement.

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“I am devastated by what has happened, and we have been working extremely hard to fix this,” he added.

Back payments owed to each staff member date back to 2011, and average about $16,000 each.

The restaurant group is also aiming to right the wrongs of former employees too.

“We’ve managed to pay back 29 of those employees already and we’ve opened the lines up to communicate with any ex-employees,” Mr McDonagh said.

Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews weighing in on the high-profile case.

“Clearly, an error has been made. The most important thing is that they have been upfront and that they’re going to provide the payments,” he said.

MAdE, which has 430 employees, also revealed that almost half of the staff were overpaid their base salary due to “poor processes in classifying employees”.

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