The owner of two Japanese bars in Cairns is in deep water after it was found out that he short changed his employees almost $50,000, according to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Mizuno Trading Company Pty Ltd was investigated and found to have underpaid 3 Japanese and 2 Korean workers, paying them wages in $9 an hour and tried to compensate them with sushi. Company director Shoichi Mizuno claims that $9 was the market rate in Japan and added that it was all he could afford. The legal rate for the employees should have ranged between $22.86 and $30.06 an hour.

The company has apologized and promised to pay their employees by providing them an upfront payment of $20,000 and installments of the balance in 14 months.

Although Mr. Mizuno will not face the courts, his company will be under an Enforceable Undertaking, where they will have to present 6 monthly audits and other requirements from the Fair Work Ombudsman. The Mizuno Trading Company Pty Ltd Sushi shops will continue to operate in Cairns.

Read more about this on the Cairns Post website.