Government announces criminal penalties for underpayments

By 19 February, 2020 April 28th, 2020 No Comments

Yesterday it was revealed that Coles had underpaid its staff to the tune of $20 million dollars. In response, the Attorney General announced that the Government will introduce legislation providing for “significant jail terms and fines” for employers who seriously underpay their workers.

As the latest underpayment scandal comes to light, employers may be asking themselves how this happens and how they can ensure they are not underpaying inadvertently.

Many of the businesses recently revealed to have underpaid staff have been paying staff on annualised salaries under modern awards. Modern award provisions can be very difficult to interpret and employers can be caught out thinking that paying staff an annual salary means they don’t have to apply the award. This is not the case.  Your staff may even be covered by a modern award that you aren’t aware of.

If you have questions about award coverage or salary arrangements, our team of specialist employment lawyers can help.

Click here for more information.