Company signs enforceable undertaking — back pays almost $60,000

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Company signs enforceable undertaking — back pays almost $60,000

Adelaide poultry processor and distributor BPL Adelaide has back paid 112 staff at its Wingfield plant almost $60,000, after it was discovered the company had been underpaying its workers.

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Adelaide poultry processor and distributor BPL Adelaide has back paid 112 staff at its Wingfield plant almost $60,000, after it was discovered the company had been underpaying its workers.

The back-pay — amounts ranging from $11.07 to $1151.28 — follows an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman that revealed five employees had been underpaid $404.37.

Voluntary reimbursement
 
After voluntarily reimbursing the five workers their outstanding entitlements, the company conducted a self-audit to determine whether other employees had also been underpaid.

Part of the Baiada group of companies, BPL Adelaide (BPLA) subsequently identified that it had inadvertently failed to update its payroll system to take account of transitional arrangements to the Poultry Processing Award 2010.

It calculated that 112 of its 209 Wingfield employees had been short-changed a total of $57,940.38 in their meal allowances. All of the underpayments have been rectified.

Following BPLA’s cooperation and agreement to voluntarily rectify all outstanding arrangements and put systems in place to ensure it does not happen again, the Fair Work Ombudsman has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with the company as an alternative to litigation.

As part of the Enforceable Undertaking, the company has expressed its ‘sincere regret’ for its failure to comply with workplace law and has issued a public apology to affected employees.

It must also commission the preparation of a workplace relations compliance manual and make it available to all staff; ensure all staff with human resource and payroll responsibilities, together with site managers, attend a workplace relations training course; engage an independent specialist to audit its compliance with workplace law each year for the next three years; and provide a copy of the report to the Fair Work Ombudsman.
 
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