The employment and industrial relations framework in Australia is highly complex, with over 120 different Modern Awards that span different industries. Each of these Awards contains specific terms, making it easy to miss a detail that results in significant underpayment or overpayment. Often, underpayments are unintentional and can be a result of an administrative oversight.
"Even a difference of one cent per hour across a large number of employees over a long period of time can become a substantial underpayment. If a banking giant can struggle to get it right, it is unbelievable that small businesses are expected to work within the same system and be without fault," said Jess van der Walt, Head of Operations at BrightHR Australia.
“There are many consequences when businesses fail to pay their employees correctly, including reputational damage, loss of trust, and regulatory action, such as fines and penalties. Additionally, the Fair Work Ombudsman has a watchful eye for underpayments, with investigations and regulatory action becoming more common in recent years.”
BrightHR offers several measures that can help businesses avoid the risk of underpayment claims. This includes a 24/7 advice phoneline run by highly trained and experienced employment relations advisers and a payroll navigator software feature that helps businesses run regular reports and update critical information in one central location.
"BrightHR can assist you in paying your employees correctly by helping you streamline your payroll process and giving you compliance advice when you need it the most. So, you have support navigating the complex system and help with making the right decisions at the right time," continued Jess.
“We are committed to helping SMEs build better businesses; and we do so by empowering employers and business owners with the tools that can help them not only manage their employees; but also help them make sure they are paying their employees their due wages,” concluded Jess.
1. CBA admits underpaying staff by over $16 million: report | HRD Australia (hcamag.com)