Posts: Payroll

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Payroll

Modern award basics for employers

Resistance is futile

One of the biggest challenges for Australian employers is navigating the often complex and confusing landscape of the modern awards.

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“Casual” employee entitled to annual leave after 15 years of service

Let’s keep it casual

Issues arise when casual employees are engaged on a long-term basis, have regular and systematic hours and a reasonable expectation of ongoing employment.

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The importance of keeping employment records and providing pay slips

Broken record (keeping)

Employers can be penalised for failing to keep proper records and for failing to issue their employees with pay slips in a timely manner.

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Massage parlour docks workers pay for lacking “passion”

Passion Pop?

In the recent Federal Circuit Court of Australia’s decision in Fair Work Ombudsman v Lu’s Healthcare Pty Ltd & Anor [2016] FCCA 506 (Massage Case) massage parlours were warned that failure to comply with the obligations under modern awards and applicable employment laws will not be tolerated.

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Celebrity Fashion and Wedding Dress Designer forced into liquidation due to unpaid employee entitlements

Dressing Down

It has recently been reported that celebrity fashion designer, Johanna Johnson who has designed gowns for Madonna and Christina Hendricks is being pursued in court by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and former employees for more than $1 million. The amount includes at least $300,000 in owed superannuation that had not been paid to employees for many years.

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Re-offending directors and their cleaning company to pay hefty penalties for breaching FW Act

Time after time

In a recent Federal Circuit Court decision, Fair Work Ombudsman v Commercial and Residential Cleaning Group Pty Ltd & Ors [2017] FCCA 2838, Judge Lucev ordered significant penalties against a Perth cleaning company and two of its directors.

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The Fair Work Ombudsman and Enforceable Undertakings

I Promised You a Miracle!

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) continues to successfully prosecute and investigate businesses that exploit workers from overseas. In a recent investigation of a Perth restaurant, the FWO found that two overseas workers had been underpaid by their employer to the tune of $13,822. After admitting to a number of contraventions, the employer agreed to enter into an enforceable undertaking with the FWO to make good.

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Human resources manager ordered to pay $21,760 for her participation in underpayments and falsifying records

Look what you made me do

In recent years, the Fair Work Ombudsman has made it clear that it is prepared to prosecute not only employers, but also individuals and third parties ‘involved in’ contraventions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act). Most recently, the FWO was successful in its prosecution of a Chinese restaurant as well as its sole director, its human resources manager and its store manager for various breaches of the FW Act, which resulted in 85 employees being underpaid a total of $583,688.68 over a 16 month period.

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Bodybuilder payroll clerk stole over $200,000 from Woolworths

It’s all about the money

A senior Woolworths payroll clerk who stole over $200,000 and attempted to take a further $400,000 to fund her lifestyle in the USA while representing Australia in a bodybuilding competition has been sentenced to 5 years in prison.

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Cleaners misclassified as independent contractors back paid $1.9 million

Shamming it up

Earlier this month, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) announced that cleaners working at hotels run by Oaks Hotels & Resorts Limited (Oaks), a major operator of more than 43 properties across Australia, have been back paid a total of $1.9 million.

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Woolworths enters compliance deed to eliminate trolley collector exploitation

Top of the food (supply) chain

Earlier this year, we told the tale of the of the trolley collectors in Once upon a trolley – an ongoing saga involving underpayments, vulnerable workers and the Fair Work Ombudsman’s (FWO’s) scrutiny of labour supply chains. In that blog, we focussed on an enforceable undertaking that involved Coles supermarkets and the FWO. Now, Woolworths have come to the trolley collectors’ party, this time in the form of a Proactive Compliance Deed with the FWO.

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Labour-hire operator gets referral to public prosecutor for non-payment of wages

New car, zero interest (in employee’s wages)

In most cases, a finding of deliberate non-compliance by a business will result in the imposition of a hefty fine by a court (a pecuniary penalty order). It is also not uncommon to see courts issue other orders such as requiring non-compliant businesses to undergo external audits or requiring managers to undergo specific training. The Federal Circuit Court of Australia has recently utilised the wide scope of this power in Fair Work Ombudsman v Greenan (No. 2) [2017] FCCA 2059.

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FWO seeks penalties against a restaurant that deliberately disregarded advice and underpaid employees

“All spaghetti and no meatballs”

It is no secret that the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has been cracking down on employers breaching their employment obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the FW Act) and exploiting vulnerable workers in order to gain financial and competitive advantage. Indeed, the Federal Government is very close to passing a Bill through Parliament that will not only impose much harsher penalties on employers but will also increase the FWO’s powers to investigate this type of behaviour.

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An induction on deductions from employees’ pay

An induction on deductions

Student accommodation provider UniLodge faced reports this month that it deducted a total amount of $74,336.00 for “rent” over the period October 2011 to April 2016 from the combined salary of two of its onsite caretakers.

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Cleaning company engaged in sham contracting ordered to pay over $660,000

It’s a crying sham

Sham contracting and the exploitation of vulnerable workers have been hot topics recently following a series of high profile cases including the likes of 7Eleven, Baiada Poultry and Quest Serviced Apartments. The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) continues its crusade, investigating and litigating claims related to worker exploitation in supply chain arrangements.

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Why businesses should have compliant employment and payroll processes

System Alert

Recenty, MAdE Establishment Group (the Group) and its celebrity chef director and founder went public with a mea culpa that it underpaid the wages of at least 162 employees across its Melbourne restaurants.

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FWO sends out warnings about payment and pay methods

Working hard for the money

The FWO has stressed that workers (i.e. labour hire and employees) must be paid the correct wage in accordance with the Horticulture Award. It is likely that the FWO will be closely monitoring the horticulture industry (and other industries where visa holders are predominately employed) given the high incidences of exploitation that have recently been reported in the media.

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Employer fined nearly $533,000 in addition to back payment for cash back scheme

Cash me outside

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia’s decision in Fair Work Ombudsman v Rubee Enterprises Pty Ltd & Anor [2016] FCCA 3456 (Rubee’s Case) has penalised a cafe in Albury NSW $532,900 for exploiting five foreign employees. This is the largest fine ever ordered as a result of legal action by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO).

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FroYo Master Franchisor Penalised for Involvement in Workplace Law Contraventions

Significant Decision Case Study

This is the first decision in which the FWO has secured penalties against a master franchisor for its involvement in contraventions of the FW Act.

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