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O n 1 March 2020 the Australian Modern Award landscape was adjusted to include new provisions for Annualised Wage Arrangements. I’ve been reminded this week, through a large amount of marketing material offering professional services, that one of the clauses requires a review of the arrangements in place after a period of twelve months (or when each relevant employee terminates their employment). That twelve month period starts from last week.

In 2019 and 2020 a number of large organisations were caught out underpaying their employees. Large-scale internal payroll audits were completed across the Australian corporate sector throughout 2020 in part because of these annualised wage arrangement provisions; in part because knowingly underpaying employees became a criminal offence and few people would want to be the first successful prosecution in that space; and also because a number of these large organisations were implementing new HR and Payroll systems to assist them in complying with an increasingly complex Industrial Relations framework and these new best-of-breed solutions uncovered historical inaccuracies. The Fair Work Ombudsman undertook 1,432 workplace audits in 2020 based on “public knowledge reports” and found a 71% non-compliance rate. Of the large organisations who self-reported underpayments, more than AUD$90m (perhaps up to AUD$600m) is now due as back pay.

On 1 October 2019, the Fair Work Ombudsman released the following statement putting employers on notice regarding underpayment of workers:

“The Fair Work Ombudsman will be holding Wesfarmers to account after self-disclosing significant underpayments of its workers. Each week, another large company is publicly admitting that they failed to ensure staff are receiving their lawful entitlements. This simply is not good enough. Companies will be held accountable for breaching workplace laws. Companies and their Boards are on notice that we will consider the full range of enforcement options available under the Fair Work Act, including litigation where appropriate.”

There isn’t data available that discusses positive compliance – noting that 29% of the audits completed by the Fair Work Ombudsman found no compliance issues – and there is no data available on companies that weren’t audited. My personal view is that large organisations aren’t making deliberate decisions to underpay workers. They may be arrogant and trying to skate close to the line when it comes to compliance, and some have been caught out when reviewing past practices, however I’d be surprised if there are large organisations that are deliberately trying to underpay Modern Award entitlements. Australia’s IR framework is complex and not easy to understand, and often the people who are configuring the software solutions that manage time and attendance, and payroll, are not IR experts who understand how the different configuration options may impact statutory entitlements. In the Wesfarmers example above, their public statement illustrates that they identified payroll issues whilst implementing a new payroll software system and subsequently engaged the professional services firm PwC to complete a detailed audit. And the same was the case at Woolworths who identified significant payroll errors for their Modern Award-covered salaried employees of around AUD$500m whilst implementing a new Enterprise Agreement and a new payroll software system. Ignorance is not an excuse, and this is a good reminder that IR requires care and investment to get right.

The changes

The rules for annualised wage arrangements that came into effect on 1 March 2020 are located within the various Modern Awards. Employees not covered by a Modern Award are not covered by the rules for annualised wage arrangements. Each Modern Award embeds the annualised wage arrangement rules in a manner which suits the context of the applicable Modern Award. As an example, below is the language used in the Clerks – Private Sector Modern Award:

18. Annualised wage arrangements

[Varied by PR719747]

18.1 Annualised wage instead of award provisions

[18.1(a) varied by PR719747 ppc 29May20]

(a) An employer may pay a full-time employee an annualised wage in satisfaction, subject to clause 18.1(c), of any or all of the following provisions of the award:

(i) clause 13.8 (Make-up time); and

(ii) clause 16—Minimum rates; and

(iii) clause 19—Allowances; and

(iv) clause 21—Overtime (employees other than shiftworkers); and

(v) clause 22—Rest period after working overtime (employees other than shiftworkers); and

(vi) clause 23—Time off instead of payment for overtime (employees other than shiftworkers); and

(vii) clause 24—Penalty rates (employees other than shiftworkers); and

(viii) clause 26—Ordinary hours of work and rostering for shiftwork; and

(ix) clause 28—Overtime for shiftwork; and

(x) clause 29—Time off instead of payment for overtime for shiftwork; and

(xi) clause 30—Rest period after working overtime for shiftwork; and

(xii) clause 31—Penalty rates for shiftwork; and

(xiii) clause 32.3—Annual leave loading.

(b) Where an annualised wage is paid, the employer must advise the employee in writing, and keep a record of:

(i) of the annualised wage that is payable;

(ii) which of the provisions of this award will be satisfied by payment of the annualised wage;

(iii) the method by which the annualised wage has been calculated, including specification of each separate component of the annualised wage and any overtime or penalty assumptions used in the calculation; and

(iv) the outer limit number of ordinary hours which would attract the payment of a penalty rate under the award and the outer limit number of overtime hours which the employee may be required to work in a pay period or roster cycle without being entitled to an amount in excess of the annualised wage in accordance with clause 18.1(c).

(c) If in a pay period or roster cycle an employee works any hours in excess of either of the outer limit amounts specified pursuant to clause 18.1(b)(iv), such hours will not be covered by the annualised wage and must separately be paid for in accordance with the applicable provisions of this award.

18.2 Annualised wage not to disadvantage employees

(a) The annualised wage must be no less than the amount the employee would have received under this award for the work performed over the year for which the wage is paid (or, if the employment ceases earlier, over such lesser period as has been worked).

(b) The employer must each 12 months from the commencement of the annualised wage arrangement or upon the termination of employment of the employee calculate the amount of remuneration that would have been payable to the employee under the provisions of this award over the relevant period and compare it to the amount of the annualised wage actually paid to the employee. Where the latter amount is less than the former amount, the employer shall pay the employee the amount of the shortfall within 14 days.

(c) The employer must keep a record of the starting and finishing times of work, and any unpaid breaks taken, of each employee subject to an annualised wage arrangement for the purpose of undertaking the comparison required by clause 18.2(b). This record must be signed by the employee, or acknowledged as correct in writing (including by electronic means) by the employee, each pay period or roster cycle.

18.3 Base rate of pay for employees on annualised wage arrangements

For the purposes of the NES, the base rate of pay of an employee receiving an annualised wage under clause 18 comprises the portion of the annualised wage equivalent to the relevant rate of pay in clause 16—Minimum rates and excludes any incentive-based payments, bonuses, loadings, monetary allowances, overtime and penalties.

How did these changes come about?

The Full Bench of the Fair Work Commission made a decision in 2018 regarding annualised wage arrangements ensuring:

  • There should be a requirement for individual agreement to be reached with the relevant employee before an annualised salary arrangement is introduced in circumstances where the working hours of the employee are highly variable from one week to the next or over the course of a year;
  • Where the annualised salary arrangement is by agreement, it should be terminable by the employer or employee at annual intervals upon notice;
  • The annualised salary arrangement should be in writing;
  • In no circumstances should an annualised salary clause in a modern award permit or facilitate an employee receiving less pay over the course of a year than they would have received had the terms of the modern award been applied in the ordinary way, and it is essential that the clause contain a mechanism or combination of mechanisms to ensure that this does not happen. The Full Bench has identified three types of mechanism to ensure this:
  • A requirement for a minimum increment above the base rate of pay, prescribed in the annualised salaries clause itself, including an outer limit on the number of overtime or penalty rate hours which are compensated by the increment;
  • A requirement that the arrangement identify the way the annualised salary is calculated; and
  • A requirement that the employer undertake an annual reconciliation or review exercise, and be required to keep records of overtime and penalty rate hours; and
  • Annualised salary arrangements should only have application to full-time employees unless a workable proposition can be identified for the application of such provisions to part-time employees.

This led to a consultation period which formally evaluated submissions from a variety of Unions and employer groups. Following the consultation period the Fair Work Commission determined to implement standard annualised wage arrangement rules across the various Modern Awards which subsequently came into effect on 1 March 2020 (noting that not all of the principles outlined in 2018 were implemented).

Who doesn’t this apply to?

Workers who are covered by an Enterprise Agreement are not covered by a Modern Award. Such workers should consult their relevant Enterprise Agreement regarding terms and conditions for annualised wage arrangements.

Workers covered by a Guarantee of Annual Earnings – a written arrangement that allows an employer to pay an employee the high income threshold or higher over 12 months or more – will not receive entitlements from a relevant award.

A number of employers, occupations and industries are not covered by Modern Awards. For example, most State and Territory employers are governed by State-based industrial relations legislation and instruments. If you’re unsure if there is a Modern Award for your occupation contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94 or use their Award Finder service.

Key Process Changes

Annual Reconciliation

Many employers undertake an annual salary review process already so the impact of an annual reconciliation shouldn’t be too burdensome – in theory. However what the annualised wage arrangements rules require is that this reconciliation takes place annually from the commencement of the annualised wage arrangement rather than at a fixed annual date for all employees as would usually occur during a salary review process. This means that these reconciliations will occur, staggered, throughout the year as contract anniversaries come around, and also when each relevant employee leaves the business.

Time Keeping Requirements

Inherently linked to the requirement to complete an annual reconciliation is enhanced timekeeping requirements. Under the annualised wage arrangement rules all related employees need to sign or acknowledge as correct a record of hours worked, held by the employer, for every pay period or roster cycle. These records must be used as part of the annual reconciliation referenced above. This is quite common for hourly employees, however this is rather novel for employers of professionals and for those on annualised wages.

Contract Language

Contracts of Employment, or related documentation, may also needed a refresh. Each employee working under an annualised wage arrangement must have the methodology used for calculating the annualised wage explained. The Contract of Employment must also explicitly state the outer limit of hours used in the calculation of the annualised wage. This outer limit is relevant, not only for the annual reconciliation, but also because any hours worked outside this outer limit within a pay period or roster cycle need to be managed in accordance with the terms of the relevant Modern Award and paid/processed in that same pay period or roster cycle. These hours worked outside this outer limit are not covered by the annualised wage arrangement.

Fair Work Commission and other cases

I’m not aware of any cases that have come before the Fair Work Commission dealing with a dispute around the annualised wage arrangements provisions of the Modern Awards, and I’m not aware of any related civil proceedings either. This doesn’t mean that there haven’t been disputes and settlements, just that none have progressed through to a hearing or trial (that I’m aware of). This does pose a challenge for employers as there are no decisions or judgements which may be referenced in setting policy or procedure. For example, some questions that immediately come to mind are:

  • If an Annual Reconciliation was conducted in December as part of a company-wide salary review process, is that sufficient for the Annual Reconciliation requirement under the relevant Modern Award? If not, how close to the twelve-month anniversary must the review be completed and what is a reasonable time frame for completion?
  • Does the outcome of the Annual Reconciliation need to be communicated to the employee?
  • Can time-keeping acknowledgements be administered by exception? For example, can a Contract of Employment include language that has the employee acknowledge that they agree in advance that all hours worked in a pay period or roster cycle are as defined in the Contract of Employment unless the employee formally follows whatever process the employer has in place to adjust hours (e.g. an application for overtime form)? This way the only records that need to be reviewed each pay period, roster cycle, or twelve month period are the exception forms.
  • Can a generic Guarantee of Annual Earnings clause be sufficient to offset the annualised wage arrangements provisions? For example, can a clause that says that if at any time the employee’s earnings exceed the High Income Threshold then the employee agrees that they are the covered by a Guarantee of Annual Earnings and the relevant Modern Award no longer applies?

It’s still early days with this new requirement and perhaps we’ll start to see the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Fair Work Commission publish in this space now that the initial systematic Annual Reconciliations are coming due.

 

26 Comments

  • simonives says:

    Camp Australia signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    18 May 2021

    National childcare company Camp Australia Services Pty Ltd (Camp Australia) is back-paying employees more than $1.7 million after entering into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

    The company, which provides outside school hours and holiday-camp childcare at more than 590 locations nationally, self-reported underpayments to the regulator in December 2019.

    After a manager at one of its holiday camps raised underpayment concerns, the company conducted an internal review and discovered it had underpaid employees’ entitlements under the Children’s Services Award 2010.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2021-media-releases/may-2021/20210518-camp-australia-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Wellways Australia signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    29 April 2021

    Mental health, community care and disability services provider Wellways Australia Limited will back-pay staff more than $1.5 million after entering into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

    The not-for-profit organisation first self-reported underpayments to the workplace regulator in September 2020.

    After being prompted by an external review of its payroll function and a pay query from an employee, Wellways discovered it had underpaid more than 500 current and former employees’ entitlements under the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 between 2014 and 2020.

    Underpaid employees were located across Queensland, NSW, the ACT, Victoria and Tasmania. They included full-time, part-time and casual employees.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2021-media-releases/april-2021/20210429-wellways-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Cleaners allegedly underpaid over $100,000 | Fair Work Ombudsman

    26 April 2021

    The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a contract cleaning company in regional WA, alleging it underpaid employees more than $119,000 and falsified records.

    The FWO has commenced proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court against Carnarvon Cleaners Pty Ltd, which is based at Carnarvon in WA’s Gascoyne region and holds cleaning contracts with many corporate and government clients in the area.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2021-media-releases/april-2021/20210426-carnarvon-cleaners-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Over $580,000 recovered for Hobart workers | Fair Work Ombudsman

    1 April 2021

    The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has recovered $582,450 in wages for 376 underpaid workers after auditing Hobart’s ‘cheap eats’ food precincts.

    Fair Work Inspectors targeted 45 businesses at North Hobart, Salamanca/Battery Point and Constitution Dock and found that almost 80 per cent failed to comply with workplace laws.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2021-media-releases/april-2021/210401-hobart-food-precincts-audits-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Only About Children signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    30 March 2021

    Childcare company Only About Children Pty Ltd is back-paying employees more than $1.5 million and has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

    The company operates more than 70 childcare outlets in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

    Only About Children self-reported underpayments to the regulator in December 2019. When implementing a new payroll system, the company became aware that it had underpaid casual and part-time employees’ overtime entitlements under the Children’s Services Award 2010 and the Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2021-media-releases/march-2021/20210330-only-about-children-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Breakthru signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work ombudsman

    12 March 2021

    Disability services provider Breakthru Ltd is back-paying employees more than $2.7 million and has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

    The registered charity, which operates in NSW, Victoria and Queensland self-reported underpayments to the workplace regulator in March 2020.

    During the process of negotiating a new enterprise agreement, Breakthru became aware that it had incorrectly classified a number of employees under the applicable awards and industrial agreements, resulting in an underpayment of base rates for those employees.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2021-media-releases/march-2021/20210312-breakthru-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Dusk signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    29 January 2021

    National retail company Dusk Australasia Pty Ltd is back-paying employees more than $2.3 million after entering into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

    The company, which operates more than 100 retail outlets across Australia selling candles and other products, self-reported underpayments to the regulator in June 2020.

    After being prompted by queries from employees, Dusk became aware that it had underpaid an entitlement that was payable under the General Retail Award 2010 when employees had a break of less than 12 hours between shifts.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2021-media-releases/january-2021/20210129-dusk-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Disability Services Australia signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    23 December 2020

    Disability Services Australia (DSA) has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman and is back-paying employees more than $1.6 million.

    The not-for-profit organisation, which provides services to disabled clients throughout NSW and operates a packaging factory at Mascot in Sydney, self-reported underpayments to the FWO in 2019.

    After being prompted by an employee query, DSA became aware employees at the Mascot site were being provided with gift vouchers in lieu of overtime payments on Sundays, in contravention of workplace laws.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/december-2020/20201223-dsa-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Security services provider signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    26 November 2020

    Principal security contractor Securecorp (NSW) Pty Ltd will back-pay underpaid workers after entering into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO).

    This is the first FWO EU where a security head contractor has admitted that amounts it paid to contracted companies in its supply chain were insufficient to allow those companies to consistently meet their award obligations, and that it was involved in those companies’ unlawful underpayments to their security guards, despite not being the employer.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/november-2020/20201126-securecorp-nsw-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Lush signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    17 November 2020

    The Australian operation of the multinational cosmetics company Lush has back-paid its employees more than $4 million and entered into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

    Lush Australasia Retail Pty Limited and Lush Australasia Manufacturing Pty Ltd self-reported to the regulator in 2018 that it had underpaid employees.

    Lush manufactures cosmetics at a factory in Villawood, NSW, and sells them online and through stores under the ‘Lush’ brand.

    The underpaid employees were located at its Sydney factory and across stores in Victoria, NSW, Queensland, WA, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT. The employees held positions including production assistants, compounders, sales assistants, retail supervisors and managers.

    The contraventions were caused by Lush’s inadequate workplace relations systems and processes, including a lack of training for staff and managers, a manual payroll system, and the absence of a HR department in a rapidly growing business.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/november-2020/20201117-lush-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Idameneo back-pays workers over $15 million | Fair Work Ombudsman

    10 November 2020

    A major national medical centre operator, Idameneo (No 123) Pty Ltd, has back-paid employees $15.3 million and entered into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO).

    Idameneo (No 123) Pty Ltd has provided medical centre management services through its 69 medical centres and 13 GP practices under the brand names of parent company Healius Limited, which include ‘Primary Dental’ and ‘Primary Health Care’.

    Healius reported to the FWO in late 2018 that Idameneo (No 123) had underpaid more than 5,000 current and former employees over $12.3 million after failing to meet rates owed under either the Health Professionals and Support Services Award 2010 or the Nurses Award 2010.

    Workplace law breaches included assigning an incorrect classification or pay point to some employees, applying an annualised salary rate for salaried employees which did not meet award entitlements, not paying all additional hours worked by waged and salaried employees, and other payroll system errors.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/november-2020/20201110-idameneo-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    WHSmith signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    5 November 2020

    National food and retail company WHSmith Australia Pty Ltd has back-paid employees more than $2.2 million and entered into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

    The company, which is owned by UK company WHSmith PLC, self-reported to the regulator that it had underpaid employees after failing to provide employees with all entitlements they were owed under the General Retail Industry Award 2010 and Fast Food Industry Award 2010.

    WHSmith operates newsagency/bookstore and fast food/café stores under brands including WHSmith, Fresh+, Wild Gifts & Cards, Supanews, Gadgetshop, Zoodle, Longshot, and Immotion. The stores are primarily located at high traffic areas in airports, train stations and hospitals.

    The company identified the underpayments during an internal audit. The underpaid workers performed various roles including stock control, customer service, food preparation and store management in retail and fast food sites located across Victoria, NSW, Queensland, WA, South Australia and the ACT.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/november-2020/20201105-whsmith-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    National Library signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    2 November 2020

    The National Library of Australia has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman after underpaying employees almost $250,000 in wages and superannuation.

    The public Commonwealth entity, based in Canberra, self-reported to the Fair Work Ombudsman earlier this year that it had failed to pay casual employees the correct weekend and public holiday penalty rates they were entitled to under the applicable Enterprise Agreements.

    During an internal payroll audit, the National Library identified that it had misunderstood its obligations under the Agreements in failing to pay penalty rates to its casual employees over two decades.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/november-2020/20201030-national-library-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Chemist Warehouse partnership improves compliance | Fair Work Ombudsman

    2 October 2020

    Major pharmacy franchise CW Retail Services Pty Ltd (Chemist Warehouse) has back-paid employees and improved its payroll practices following a three-year compliance partnership with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

    Chemist Warehouse voluntarily entered into a Compliance Deed in 2016 to improve workplace compliance across its franchise network of retail pharmacy businesses that now employ over 14,200 staff nationwide at more than 400 stores.

    This followed both FWO audits and the company’s own review finding non-compliance with workplace laws across the network, related to the non-payment of staff for training.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/october-2020/20201002-chemist-warehouse-compliance-partnership-final-report

  • simonives says:

    More than $123 million recovered for workers | Fair Work Ombudsman

    15 October 2020

    The Fair Work Ombudsman’s 2019-20 Annual Report reveals a record sum of money recovered for underpaid workers across the country during the past financial year.

    In total, $123,461,548 was recovered for 25,583 employees, which included $90 million in underpayments that were self-reported by employers. More than $56.8 million was back-paid following extensive investigations and Enforceable Undertakings negotiated with the FWO.

    Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said that significant underpayments from large corporate entities had been a new challenge for the FWO over the past year and the trend continues.

    “The prevalence and the scale of big corporations underpaying their workers is extremely disappointing and concerning. We have established a dedicated taskforce within the Fair Work Ombudsman to investigate these matters,” Ms Parker said.

    “I strongly encourage the CEOs and boards of Australia’s largest corporations to ensure they are complying with workplace laws and to advise us immediately if they identify significant underpayments.”

    The FWO had 72 matters before the courts as of 1 July 2020, in many cases alleging exploitation of vulnerable workers. There were 54 new litigations filed – more than double that of last year – and 50 per cent of those involved businesses in the fast food, restaurant and café sector.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/october-2020/20201015-fwo-annual-report-2019-20-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Western Power signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    10 September 2020

    Western Australian electricity network provider Western Power has back-paid employees more than $8 million, and is reporting to the Fair Work Ombudsman to ensure it correctly calculates and finalises further significant back-payments, under an Enforceable Undertaking entered into with the FWO.

    Western Power, a statutory corporation owned by the WA State Government, self-reported to the regulator last year that it had underpaid employees located in Perth and the South-West of WA.

    The affected employees were managers, team leaders and staff in professional, para-professional, technical and administration roles, who all entered into Individual Flexibility Arrangements (IFAs).

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/september-2020/20200910-western-power-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    IBM signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    11 September 2020

    Multinational technology company IBM has back-paid Australian employees more than $12 million after entering into an Enforceable Undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

    IBM Australia Ltd and IBM Global Financing Australia Limited self-reported to the regulator last year that they had underpaid employees after failing to apply the relevant Awards.

    The underpaid employees, located across all States and Territories, were variously covered by Business Equipment Award 2010, the Professional Employees Award 2010, the Banking, Finance and Insurance Industry Award 2010 and the Nurses Award 2010.

    IBM had failed to apply the Award to most of its employees because they were salaried professionals earning significantly above minimum Award wage rates.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/september-2020/20200911-imb-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Uniting signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    12 August 2020

    The operator of the Uniting aged care homes is back-paying employees more than $3.3 million and has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

    The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (NSW), a registered charity which runs more than 70 residential aged care facilities as well as other community services under the Uniting brand in NSW and the ACT, self-reported that it underpaid more than 9000 employees.

    Uniting identified the underpayments when it conducted a review after receiving complaints from a number of its employees.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/august-2020/20200812-uniting-media-release

  • simonives says:

    BaptistCare signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    18 August 2020

    BaptistCare NSW & ACT is back-paying employees more than $1 million and has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman in order to address its non-compliance.

    The registered charity, which runs 17 residential aged care facilities as well as other related community services, self-reported that it underpaid more than 2000 current and former employees working in front line caring roles.

    The affected employees were shift workers who were covered by the Baptist Community Services Age Care Enterprise Agreement 2011 and the BaptistCare NSW & ACT Aged Care Enterprise Agreement 2014.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/august-2020/20200818-baptistcare-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Sunwater signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    28 August 2020

    Queensland water service provider Sunwater is back-paying employees more than $2 million and has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

    The Queensland Government owned organisation self-reported to the regulator last year that it had identified underpayments during an annual remuneration review for employees on individual contracts. The affected employees were mainly technical specialists and managers.

    The underpayments were the result of Sunwater failing to ensure its employees on individual contracts received all entitlements payable under the enterprise agreements covering its workforce, having incorrectly assumed these employees were excluded from coverage.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/august-2020/20200828-sunwater-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Medical institute signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    31 July 2020

    The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research is back-paying employees more than $350,000 after entering into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

    The not-for-profit organisation, which conducts biomedical research and offers postgraduate training, self-reported last year that it had underpaid current and former employees.

    The underpayments are the result of the organisation failing to correctly transition to modern awards. The institute continued to pay the affected employees according to pre-modern awards which it believed applied, when it should have been paying them according to modern awards, which contained more generous provisions for a number of pay rates and entitlements.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/july-2020/20200731-wehimr-eu

  • simonives says:

    ABC signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    19 June 2020

    The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has back-paid over $11.9 million to more than 1,800 current and former casual staff and entered into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

    An investigation was launched after the ABC reported to the FWO that it had found instances where casual employees had not received entitlements under its enterprise agreements.

    Fair Work Inspectors identified that some casual staff were receiving flat rates of pay insufficient to cover entitlements including overtime, penalty rates and some allowances, and in some cases employees were paid less than the minimum hourly rate.

    In total, 1,907 ABC employees were underpaid $12,029,038, most between October 2012 and February 2019. As at 27 May 2020, the ABC has back-paid $11,983,950 to 1828 employees. The broadcaster has paid affected workers 5.25 per cent interest on back-payments, superannuation, and 5.25 per cent interest on superannuation.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/june-2020/2020619-abc-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Activ Foundation signs Court-Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    20 March 2020

    Disability services provider, Activ Foundation Inc. (Activ) will back-pay employees in Western Australia a total of $13.6 million after breaching Australia’s workplace laws.

    Activ, which is a registered Australian Disability Enterprise, has entered into a Court-Enforceable Undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman after self-disclosing that it underpaid 1,695 current and former employees, in diverse roles such as manufacturing, property maintenance, landscaping and product packaging.

    The affected workers were all people with a disability and were covered by a pay structure set out in the Supported Employment Services Award 2010 that allows employees to receive a rate of pay based on their capacity to perform the work.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/march-2020/20200320-activ-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    Qantas signs Court-Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    13 March 2020

    Qantas Airways Limited (Qantas) has entered into a Court-Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman and will back pay hundreds of workers millions of dollars.

    The FWO investigated Qantas after the airline self-reported that it had incorrectly paid some of its marketing and administrative staff in accordance with the terms of individual contracts of employment, rather than the relevant enterprise agreements that covered and applied to them.

    As a result, employees did not receive the minimum terms of the relevant enterprise agreements, including minimum wages, overtime, annual leave entitlements and superannuation, which led to underpayments and record-keeping breaches.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2020-media-releases/march-2020/20200313-qantas-eu-media-release

  • simonives says:

    The list of Enforceable Undertakings with the Fair Work Ombudsman are located at the following link:

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/our-role/enforcing-the-legislation/enforceable-undertakings

  • simonives says:

    RSPCA NSW signs Enforceable Undertaking | Fair Work Ombudsman

    20 May 2021

    The NSW branch of The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA NSW) will back-pay staff more than $220,000 under an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

    The workplace regulator commenced an investigation into the not-for-profit animal welfare organisation in 2019 after it publicly acknowledged that it had underpaid workers. RSPCA NSW became aware of the underpayment after being prompted by a query from an employee.

    https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2021-media-releases/may-2021/20210520-rspca-nsw-eu-media-release

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