Enforceable Undertakings

Over the past five years, some of the biggest names in the Australian business have been found to have under-paid their workforce, in some cases, over a period of ten years.  So called “wage theft” has been estimated to cost the Australian workforce $1.35 billion annually.    Some employers have been ordered to repay as much as $300 million to current and former workers.

Many of these cases have come to light through employer self-reporting while others have been identified through employee complaint or by union investigation.    Many cases involve payment of hourly rates that are below the relevant award while other cases involve failing to pay allowances for overtime, motor vehicle, public holidays, travel, first aid, meals and others.   

Whether self-reported or identified by employees or external parties, most of these matters end-up before the Fair Work Ombudsman.   Rectification is usually set out in an agreed and executed ‘enforceable undertaking’ that involves a statement of contrition and calculation and repayment of any underpaid remuneration or allowances.  

Commonly also, an enforceable undertaking will require the employer to establish an internal as well as an independent external reporting line for underpaid workers to register their claims.   These reporting lines are oversighted by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

How can RightCall help?

RightCall provides employers who have entered into an enforceable undertaking with an independent hotline reporting service.   This independent service can operate concurrently with any internal reporting hotline already in place or required by the enforceable undertaking.   All of the usual RightCall reporting channels are available including:

Internal and independent external reporting services are usually required to operate for a period of 12 months with regular reporting in a format acceptable to the Fair Work Ombudsman.  

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