Guardian journalist unpaid for five weeks

Original article by David Ross
The Australian – Page: 3 : 12-Mar-20

The Australian arm of news publisher The Guardian has provided extensive coverage of the wage underpayments scandal in recent months. However, freelance journalist Russell Jackson has claimed that The Guardian itself has not paid him for five articles that he wrote in January. The Guardian’s Australian editor, Lenore Taylor, has described this as "unacceptable" and said she will ensure that the matter is resolved. Jackson has previously been the news publisher’s deputy sports editor.

CORPORATES
THE GUARDIAN AUSTRALIA

Unions urge paid leave for quarantined staff

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 5-Mar-20

The federal government has advised workers who have recently been overseas to undertake self-quarantine for 14 days. Victorian Trades Hall secretary Luke Hilakari contends that workers should not be penalised if they are ordered to stay at home and do not have the option of telecommuting. He says they should receive full pay and not be required to use their annual or personal leave. ACTU secretary Sally McManus has urged the federal government to provide financial support to casual workers and contractors who are not entitled to paid leave.

CORPORATES
VICTORIAN TRADES HALL COUNCIL, ACTU

News Corp underpaid super

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 19 : 25-Feb-20

News Corp Australia says that about 2,500 current and former employees have not received their correct superannuation entitlements due to payroll system errors. A spokesman says that most of the affected employees were underpaid by less than $250, and they are collectively owed around $1.5m. The underpayments were discovered during a review of News Corp’s super contributions, which also revealed some instances of wages being overpaid.

CORPORATES
NEWS CORP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEWS CORPORATION – ASX NWS

Wage theft: Employer calls to reform award system are a bare-faced con job

Original article by Martijn Boersma
The New Daily – Page: Online : 23-Feb-20

PwC has estimated that Australian workers are underpaid $1.35 billion each year, with 13 per cent of the workforce impacted. In certain sectors, the figure increases to 21 per cent of workers. Companies that have been found to have underpaid staff are tending to blame the award system for the problem, contending that it is overly complicated. Employers and employer groups say that the system needs to be simplified, but what they are really want is to reduce the role of governments and unions in wage determination.

CORPORATES
PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS AUSTRALIA (INTERNATIONAL) PTY LTD, CALTEX AUSTRALIA LIMITED – ASX CTX, COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL, SUPER RETAIL GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUL, WOOLWORTHS GROUP LIMITED – ASX WOW

Negligent profits at workers’ expense

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 8 : 21-Feb-20

Super Retail Group has advised that the extent of its wage underpayment scandal is worse than initially thought. The retailer says employees have been underpaid by $61.2m, compared with a previous estimate of $53m. Meanwhile, Professor Andrew Stewart from the University of Adelaide suggests that some employers have been negligent by shifting staff to annualised salaries while failing to determine if they have been working additional hours.

CORPORATES
SUPER RETAIL GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUL, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE

The real scandal behind wage theft

Original article by Jennifer Hewett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 2 : 21-Feb-20

The Fair Work Commission is about to impose onerous new rules concerning the recording and reconciliation of hours being worked by salaried staff. They are being imposed at a time when technological advances are blurring the distinction between work and home, making the traditional 40-hour week seem an illusion. There has been a lot of controversy recently about employees not getting paid for all the hours they have worked, but there are often good reasons why people choose to work extra hours, including a desire to develop their career. Most cases of underpayment are unlikely to have been deliberate.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, WESFARMERS LIMITED – ASX WES, COLES GROUP LIMITED – ASX COL

Coles and Target are the tip of the iceberg. There could be dozens more underpayment scandals

Original article by Euan Black
The New Daily – Page: Online : 20-Feb-20

Gerard Dwyer of the Shop, Distributive & Allied Employees’ Association says it is inevitable that another major company will admit to having underpaid its employees, after revelations that Target did so. The union has written to more than 100 employers, asking them to undertake a self-audit to ensure that their staff are being paid correctly. Dwyer has urged the federal government to restore the right of unions to conduct random checks of companies’ payrolls.

CORPORATES
SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION

Firms too slack on getting wages right

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 5 : 19-Feb-20

The federal government’s crackdown on wage theft could include ‘naming and shaming’ companies that underpay their staff and disqualifying executives from holding board seats. Attorney-General Christian Porter says companies that underpay their employees could face a range of penalties in addition to civil or criminal ones. He has dismissed suggestions that the growing issue of wage underpayments is due to the complexity of the modern awards system.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S DEPT

2020 survey: no lift in wage growth, no lift in economic growth and no progress on unemployment in year of low expectations

Original article by Peter Martin
The Conversation – Page: Online : 29-Jan-20

A panel of 24 leading economists expects Australia’s economic growth to remain at or below two per cent in 2020. The average forecast is for growth of 1.9 per cent. The consensus of the economists is that the unemployment rate will remain above five per cent, while growth in wages will remain at around 2.2 per cent. The panel also expects the iron ore price to continue to fall, which will in turn see growth in Australians’ living standards slow to 2.4%. Meanwhile, there is general agreement among the economists that official interest rates will be cut just once in 2020 and the the Reserve Bank will not have to pursue quantitative easing.

CORPORATES
RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Unions call for more government assistance for workers in fire-hit areas

Original article by Dana McCauley
The Age – Page: Online : 8-Jan-20

The federal government’s Disaster Recovery Allowance provides people who have been directly affected by the bushfires to receive up to 13 weeks of income support. However, the United Workers Union’s Helen Gibbons contends that this will be insufficient for many bushfire victims, adding that casual workers in particular will be hard hit by loss of income due to the fires. Retail & Fast Food Workers Union secretary Josh Cullinan notes that many casual workers are reluctant to stay at home despite feeling sick from smoke haze and heat from the bushfires.

CORPORATES
UNITED WORKERS UNION, RETAIL AND FAST FOOD WORKERS UNION INCORPORATED, ACTU, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP