Wage Compliance – It is your responsibility?

Over the past 12 months there has never been more attention on businesses to ensure that their employees are being paid correctly.

With recent cases being pursued by the Fair Work Ombudsman (“FWO”) against some of our biggest names in 7-Eleven and Pizza Hut, now is the time to make sure that you are ahead of the regulator and they don’t come knocking.

In the 7-Eleven case, FWO’s investigation concerned the allegation of significant underpayment of wages and the falsification of employment records. Through their investigation, a sample of 20 stores were placed under the spotlight resulting in a number of enforceable actions by the FWO, including:

  • 7 matters filed before the Federal Circuit Court;
  • 1 Enforceable Undertaking made;
  • 20 Letters of Caution issued;
  • 14 Infringement Notices issued;
  • 3 Compliance Notices issued; and
  • Over $293,500 recovered for workers.

Source: Page 4 of the FWO’s Report into 7-Eleven – April 2016.

In the Pizza Hut case, FWO’s investigation also concerned underpayment of wages but also looked into how the delivery drivers were engaged. Through their investigation, 34 franchisees were audited and found the following:

  • 24 were found to be non-compliant;
  • 2 to be compliant;
  • 3 Enforceable undertakings issued;
  • 17 Letters of Caution issued;
  • 11 Infringement Notices issued;
  • 11 Compliance Notices issued; and
  • Underpayments of $12,086.

Source: Home Page of the FWO’s Report into Pizza Hut – January 2017.

As you can see from the actions of the FWO and the results of their investigations, non-compliance with workplace laws should now be a high priority for small, medium and large business. Severe financial penalties await those who get it wrong, or fail to take the simple steps to ensure you are staying above-award, and legally compliant.

If you want someone to review your current workplace relations arrangements to ensure they are legally compliant, please give Warren Cruse, Senior Consultant from Workplace Wizards a call on 0412 107 941 or email at warren@workplacewizards.com.au.

Warren has previously worked as an Advisor and Inspector with the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (now the Fair Work Ombudsman).

Mark Ritchie

Mark Ritchie

Mark is passionate about helping Australian businesses efficiently resolve their industrial relations issues. Mark has demonstrated proficiency advising managers, executives and boards of small to medium-sized enterprises, as well as some of Australia’s best-known companies, on both litigious and non-litigious matters.

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