Retail chain donates after Ombudsman investigation

time sheet, pay, wageMobile phone accessories chain, Happytel, will revamp its workplace practices after the Fair Work Ombudsman found that two overseas workers at the company’s outlets in Adelaide were underpaid a total of over $13,000.

The workers were both Korean nationals in Australia on 417 working holiday visas and had worked at the Happytel outlet at the Westfield Tea Tree Plaza in Modbury, while one also worked at the Westfield Marion shopping centre, in Oaklands Park.

Inspectors found the workers had been underpaid a total of $13,349 between 2013 and 2015 as a result of underpayment of their penalty rates for evening, weekend and public holiday work, as well as a casual loading and leave entitlements.

The workers were underpaid individual amounts of $9942 and $3407.

Happytel Retail Group, which operates a chain of dozens of outlets across Australia as well as outlets overseas, co-operated with the investigation and the workers were promptly back-paid.

Three of Happytel’s associated companies and two members of the Ryu family which control the Happytel network have also agreed to donate a total of $7500 to the Asian Women at Work community group and to take a series of measures to ensure future compliance as part of Enforceable Undertakings (EUs) entered into with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

“Employers from culturally diverse backgrounds underpaying workers from similar backgrounds is an ongoing concern, but employers should be aware that if they are willing to fully co-operate with us, we can help them understand and comply with Australian laws,”said Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James.

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