Poll: Is staff underpayment in retail really unintentional?

The last few years have seen a spate of underpayments in the retail and hospitality sector, from Michael Hill and Dominos to Super Retail Group and Chatime. Businesses should no longer have any excuse for outdated or inaccurate payroll systems – the headlines should be incentive enough – but the scandals keep coming.

One reason many retailers cite is the complexity of the modern award. Last week, MJ Bale’s chief executive Matt Jensen called for an overhaul of the entire system.

The claims aren’t without merit, with 33 per cent of payroll managers admitting to having made employee payment or entitlement mistakes at least once a month, and a further 21 per cent doing so each quarter, according to research by the Australian Payroll Association.

Additionally, around half of chief executives and chief financial officers say they weren’t made aware of these mistakes by their teams. In 45 per cent of these organisations, it is the employees who have alerted the organisation to the mistakes, not an internal audit.

The report also noted that, on average, larger businesses tend to make mistakes more often. 

Sixty-nine per cent of organisations with more than 10,000 employees said they make errors “every month”, compared to 51 per cent of organisations with between 1001 and 5000 employees. Only 16 per cent of businesses with 50 or fewer employees said the same.

So, we want to know what you think: Is staff underpayment mostly unintentional? Or are some retailers cutting costs where they shouldn’t?

[yop_poll id=”33″]


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