Australia – the land of droughts, flooding rains and payroll errors!
Last week we learnt that 72% of the 243 food businesses audited by the Fair Work Ombudsman in Glebe, Richmond and Fortitude Valley were non compliant. This week we learnt that retail giant Lush Cosmetics has underpaid 5,000 staff around $2m over the past 8 years. And this is after the 7-Eleven debacle we’ve seen blow up in the media.
Why does this keep happening? I have been helping thousands of Australian businesses to manage employment for nearly two decades and I can assure you it’s not because we have a large cohort of Machiavellian employers trying to rort their staff and save a dime. It’s because Australia’s award rates pay system is incredibly complex.
Unlike almost all other Western economies, which use a single minimum wage threshold, determining minimum wages in Australia depends on dozens of factors including age, education, time of day, day of the week, location, individual responsibilities, time between shifts, temperature and even the specific tools employees use.
It’s a minefield. A minefield that is even difficult for big businesses with unlimited resources to navigate. A minefield that causes employers to feel trepidatious as opposed to excited about growing their business.
So what’s the solution? You might be surprised to know the solution is actually the same for big and small business. A payroll system that automatically interprets modern awards!
Don’t take my word for it. Peta Granger, Director of Lush Australasia said it herself in a press conference, “Our payroll system did not automatically interpret the modern award….We’re human and we’re capable of making mistakes”. *
Moving forward Amy Lyon, Lush’s People Officer has said, “We’re excited to move forward to a new payroll system that automatically interprets and calculates the award”.*
Avoid human error (and huge expenses) with smart technology. Employment Hero, an all-in-one HR, payroll and employee benefits platform, is specifically made to help small to medium businesses meet compliance standards.
Employment Hero and our payroll platform, Hero Pay, automate over 40 of the most common awards in Australia (including Retail, Fast Food and Hospitality Awards). It’s easy to use as well. Employers use our app to capture employee start times, finish times and break times and then can run payroll with that information. Our payroll system takes care of the award calculations so that employers can relax and feel more confident about growing their business.
The answer to what I am comfortable calling our compliance crisis is a system that compiles every bit of documentation an employer needs to be compliant and then automatically interprets awards so that nothing falls through the cracks.
* Quoted from the Tuesday July 17 episode of Hack (a podcast by Triple J)