With Woolworths facing a $300 million employee class action that alleges its underpayment scandal is far worse than first estimates, this morning we have another possible contender for wage theft.
The Mantle Group Hospitality now has come under the spotlight for exploiting its casual workforce by using a 19-year-old workplace agreement to avoid paying penalty rates in their chain of Pig N Whistle venues. The company was reported as also eyeing a stock-market float – but maybe the not now that this news has surfaced.
Please have an independent audit done of your businesses practices to ensure:
You are specifying the role(s) correctly
Classifying the roles correctly against Modern Awards
Paying correct entitlements & penalties for all work being undertaken
Checking the hourly rates that apply
An independent review can give you objectivity, identify issues, and provide confidence in the payment and rates your business is applying. In the end its about protecting your business from court cases, poor media, damaged reputation and huge financial penalties.
Woolworths has reported that returning the cash plus interest to staff will result in a one-off remediation charge of between $200 million and $300 million. The final numbers of staff affected, and wages underpaid could climb if the figures by Adero Law are correct – maybe even double! The impact on company’s reputation and financial position is deep and would ruin many small businesses.
Establishing proper salary rates is not a set and forget process. Check rates regularly. I recommend, after an initial wages audit, businesses implement a review every 6 months as changes are often incremental and can catch a payroll unawares.
Get on the front foot now. Talk to me for advice, support or service.
Happy to help and protect your business and keep you on the right track for your staffing and workforce needs.