• Assia Benmedjdoub - Ragtrader editor.
    Assia Benmedjdoub - Ragtrader editor.

It’s a growing list no-one wants to join.

Yesterday, Michael Hill became the latest retailer to admit it has underpaid its staff.

An internal review, conducted in partnership with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, found underpayments of up to $25 million over six years.

The issue concerned errors in its application of the retail award, unleashing a further review that could take up to seven months to conduct.

Who is at the centre of all this announcement?

Newly appointed CEO Daniel Bracken.

Bracken instigated the investigation; raising a sword left unswathed by the previous leadership team.

While contraventions of workplace laws should be condemned, his actions should be praised and replicated.

Is it time to investigate your payroll?

Michael Hill is not the first (and dare I say, probably not the last) retailer to admit to the underpayment of staff this year.

In February, Rebel Sport owner Super Retail Group announced it would allocate $43 million to remunerate workers.

The sum equates to six years worth of unpaid overtime and allowances to retail managers, with 10% of staff affected by the breach.

This was after announcing it had also underpaid members of its Set Up team by $8 million last year.

The culprit, once again, was the application of the General Retail Industry Award.

In fact, the issue has become so dire, it has prompted a call from the National Retail Association for better education around rights and responsibilities.

As a trade publication, we too will pick up the education piece in future coverage on this platform.

In the meantime, it’s probably a good idea to have a peek at your own books.


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