Yawning, swearing and “playing around” at work were said to be among items on a Michelin-starred Hong Kong restaurant’s menu of offences which attract fines of up to HK$100 each time staff break the rules. The stiff penalty system reportedly in use at Lei Garden restaurant’s Sha Tin branch came to light when a photo of the 23-item list was recently posted to a Facebook group set up by restaurant workers to share industry news and job advertisements. The restaurant, awarded one star by the Michelin Guide Hong Kong and Macau in each of the last five years, is part of the Lei Garden group, which serves upmarket Cantonese food at 24 branches in China and Singapore, including 10 in Hong Kong. The name of the Sha Tin restaurant is on the top right corner of the list, which is dated May 2013. It clearly states more than 20 offences and the corresponding fine for each, starting at HK$20. One rule states that workers are not allowed to behave in “indecent” ways in front of customers, such as yawning, stretching their bodies, using toothpicks, or cutting their fingernails. If caught in the act, staff must pay HK$20 for each of those transgressions. Chefs who make larger portions than stated on the menu, leading to a loss for the restaurant, will be fined HK$100. Supervisors face higher fines than those levied on waiting staff for some violations. For example, a supervisor must pay HK$50 for failing to clearly and accurately tell a customer the price of dishes on the menu, while a frontline staff member is fined HK$20. Staff will also be given a “demerit” on their record and fined HK$100 whenever their managers receive a complaint about their performance at work. The heaviest punishment, highlighted in bold font, is an immediate sacking for any member of staff who takes home unclaimed lost property from the restaurant. The Labour Department said that deducting wages from employees on the grounds they have made mistakes in their work was a breach of the Employment Ordinance. It said it would contact the restaurant in question to look into the matter and urge the employer to comply with the law. The department said that under the Employment Ordinance, an employer who makes illegal deductions from employees’ wages is liable to prosecution, and faces a HK$100,000 fine and one year’s jail upon conviction. Staff at the Sha Tin restaurant told the South China Morning Post that they were unaware of the list when a reporter visited this afternoon. Calls to Lei Garden for comment were not immediately returned.