Pay rises in private sector agreements approved in the June quarter reached 3% for the first time in 18 months, despite the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Attorney-General's Department data bedevilled by an inability to quantify increases for 76,000 workers.
Multinational cosmetics company Lush has backpaid workers almost $4.5 million and entered into an enforceable undertaking with the FWO after the lack of an HR department and training, along with a moribund manual payroll system, led to widespread underpayments.
The FWO has won its first "serious contravention" penalties three years after the provisions were added to the Fair Work Act, a café and its former general manager fined a total of $230,000 on their second visit to court for underpaying workers.
A 61-year-old former economics professor has been fined $31,000 for underpaying two visa holders employed at a Korean grocery, a court finding he deliberately arranged for them to receive as little as $10 an hour.
An accountancy firm that created and gave the FWO false records covering up a massage parlour's underpayments must pay more per breach than the family-run employer, which has been fined about 10% of the penalties sought by the workplace watchdog.
A marijuana-smoking supervisor who allegedly resigned after declining a drug test has had his unfair dismissal claim thrown out because a "project uplift" allowance of at least 25% counted as earnings that pushed him beyond the high-income threshold.
A UK proposal to cap wages at £100,000 ($180,000) to finance low- and middle-income-earners' increases is not the best way to redistribute incomes and lift living standards, according to the Centre for Future Work, which says that targeting soaring corporate profits is "more powerful".
Employers have pushed back against the SDA's campaign to remove junior rates in the retail sector for all but the lowest of eight classifications, arguing it will "unambiguously" raise costs and slow promotions.
Qantas is considering a challenge to a Federal Court interpretation today of JobKeeper payment rules that will require it to backpay employees who received penalty rates in arrears while covered by the wage subsidy scheme.