Liquor stores caught underpaying


money, dollar notesDozens of liquor stores across NSW have been underpaying workers their minimum lawful entitlements, the Fair Work Ombudsman says.

The Ombudsman checked the books of 178 liquor retailers in metropolitan Sydney and regional NSW last year to assess compliance with federal workplace laws.

In a report released on Thursday the Ombudsman found that 100 employers (56 per cent) complied with the laws but 78 (44 per cent) had contravened wage, penalty rate, pay-slip, and record-keeping requirements.

Fair Work inspectors identified 45 businesses which had collectively underpaid 133 of their employees a total of $107,406.

While most (62 per cent) of the underpayments were for amounts less than $1500, several individual businesses were required to rectify amounts totalling more than $10,000.

The report said the main reason for underpayments was a lack of awareness of award provisions by employers who were paying flat hourly rates which did not take into account appropriate penalties and loadings.

Fair Work Ombudsman, Natalie James, said that when contraventions were identified, most employers were quick to rectify the issues and accept help to put processes in place to ensure they were not repeated.

“We’re confident that as a result of this campaign, employers in this sector are much more aware of their obligations and that they can turn to us for information and advice they can rely on,” she said.


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