Australian supermarket giant allegedly failed to pay $ 115 million staff

Australia’s Fairwork Ombuzman (FWO) said it did not pay a total of $ 115 million (US $ 82 million) to more than 7,800 employees between January 2017 and March 2020, December 2 I filed a lawsuit against the supermarket giant Coles on December.

The FWO evaluated the wage and eligibility information disclosed by Coles, mainly due to underpayments due to insufficient annual salary to cover the minimum legal qualifications such as overtime, weekends and holiday wages. Claimed to have done.

FWO Sandra Parker said underpayments caused by salaries that did not fully cover the awards have become a persistent problem among companies of all sizes and industries.

“Companies that pay an annual salary cannot take a’set and forget’approach to pay workers. The employer needs to ensure that the wages paid are sufficient to cover all the minimum legal qualifications of the time the employee is actually working and the work they are actually doing. .. “hoodie Said..

Most of the underpaid staff were managers, with 45 over $ 100,000 (US $ 71,000) and, in one case, just over $ 470,000 (US $ 335,000).

“FWO claims that Coles office workers were usually contracted to work 40 hours a week and were on the roster, but often worked more hours,” FWO said, these managers said. He added that he often works an average of an hour extra on his rostered schedule.

Low-wage employees reportedly worked in rural and metropolitan areas of all states and territories.

“This proceeding against Coles should warn all employers that they could face serious consequences if they do not prioritize compliance with the law in the workplace,” Parker said.

Coles Group Said In a statement to shareholders, in February 2020, we began reviewing salary arrangements that are eligible for the 2010 General Retail Awards (GRIA). Following an internal investigation, we have organized a remediation program that has cost $ 13 million so far.

Following the announcement, FWO has also begun investigating payment arrangements. Coles said he has been in contact with FWO since the investigation began.

“Coles is currently considering procedures that include issues related to the interpretation and application of GRIA’s various provisions and will update the market accordingly to the extent that further corrections may be required.” The statement states.

Parker said FWO’s current priority is to ensure that corrective programs are being implemented correctly by large employers reporting underpayments.

Rebecca Chu


Rebecca Zhu is an Australian reporter based in Sydney. She focuses on Australia’s economy, property and education. Contact her at [email protected]