Saturday 31st October, 2020


The Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel is an industry leader when it comes to the care and welfare of our employees.

During the pandemic for example, we ensured every employee was paid out their full entitlements and implemented a hardship program to support those doing it tough, providing free accommodation and other financial assistance packages to staff in need – despite the hospitality industry itself being shut down and our businesses having no revenue.

Until contacted by A Current Affair on Monday 19 October 2020, we had no knowledge of any claim or complaint by any staff members or the Union itself. The claims that $200,000 was owed to these employees is simply false. The unions have made serious miscalculations that don’t take into account all the loadings that are paid to our employees and their numbers don’t add up.

Within 48 hours of being given the names of four ex-employees that believe they were underpaid, we have reviewed and analysed over 16 years of payroll data.  That review has found three errors from 2016 & 2017 which add up to approximately $38,000 in wages that should have been paid to these staff.

A mistake like this is something we take very seriously and we are deeply sorry for the impact they have had on the staff affected, their families and our industry.  We have apologised to the staff in question and have paid all money owed to the employees in full.  We have also paid all required superannuation and annual leave on these amounts.

While we have systems and processes in place to ensure we are not only compliant, but best-practice employers, we are all humans and sometimes make mistakes. We note the complaints relate to staff employed four to five years ago and have never been raised before. Over that same period the Hotel has given jobs to almost 3,000 people and paid nearly $50 million in wages.

We are always striving to learn, grow and improve. Our employees are the backbone of our business and play a pivotal part in the communities in which they work and we value every employee that has been a part of the Watsons Bay family, past and present.

We are grateful to A Current Affair for bringing these issues to us and only wish that they had done so sooner.

We welcome any staff member who has questions about their pay to contact our HR department. Any payroll issues, past or present, will be quickly addressed.



Fraser Short