For businesses and workers.
The National Retail Association (NRA) has called for better education for both businesses and workers in understanding the complex retail award.
NRA CEO, Dominique Lamb said a number of recent cases had highlighted the complex nature of the Retail Modern Award, and the wide variety of factors that could impact pay and entitlements.
“We note that Super Retail Group has identified this issue through internal checks, reported it to the Fair Work Ombudsman, and is putting in place a fund to pay affected workers,” Lamb said.
“This is what employees are entitled to expect of businesses that make mistakes. And while this is a very large error, we trust that the regulators will see that business has been proactive in addressing it, and will respond accordingly.”
Lamb said the issue highlighted the need for better education for both businesses and workers in understanding their rights and responsibilities in the complicated Modern Retail Award environment.
“One underpayment is one too many, and that’s why the NRA is a very strong advocate for greater education for employers, to ensure that honest mistakes are reduced, and also for employees so that the small number of unscrupulous employers have less ability to get away with unlawful treatment of their staff.
“We are aware that many schools provide a basic education with respect to the necessity of having a tax file number, and some schools go so far as provide some education in workplace skills. However, we know of no formalised attempt to educate young people about their rights under the Fair Work system, even in formal traineeships and apprenticeships.
“The NRA believes we could significantly reduce both accidental underpayments and deliberate wage theft if our young people have a stronger understanding of their workplace rights, and the confidence to enforce them.
“For this reason, we urge the relevant governments and agencies to consider options to ensure young people are better informed about their rights and how to ensure they receive fair payment for their work.”