Silverchain addresses underpayments to WA employees

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Home care provider Silverchain has rectified $17 million in underpayments to some domestic support and personal care employees in Western Australia, which it says resulted from errors in scheduling systems.

Silverchain – which recently rebranded from Silver Chain – has repaid the money, including overtime, interest and superannuation, to employees who were not properly paid for gaps in rostered work times as well as some meal and tea break entitlements.

According to Silverchain’s Executive Director Western Australia, Renae Lavell (pictured), gaps between client appointments – often caused by scheduling changes or cancellations – were not paid correctly.

“The client scheduling system in WA did not sufficiently provide for the taking and recording of breaks, which was largely the cause of the meal and tea break issues.

“We have undertaken extensive internal and external reviews and have made changes to ensure compliance with our enterprise agreements. We continue to roll out training programs on workplace relations obligations for employees and managers. We are committed to working with the Fair Work Ombudsman on a range of further measures,” she said.

Renae has apologised on behalf of Silverchain for the underpayments, and the provider has entered an Enforceable Undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) to ensure continued compliance.

“I thank all our aged community care employees in Western Australia for their patience and understanding as we worked to correct and remediate this issue.

“We greatly value the comprehensive and compassionate care our people offer to our clients in their homes and in their communities each day,” she said.