Wellways Australia underpaid staff $1.5 million

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Wellways Australia, the community care, mental health, NDIS and disability services provider, will back-pay staff more than $1.5 million after entering into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The Not For Profit organisation, founded in 1978, self-reported underpayments to the workplace regulator in September 2020.

After an external review of its payroll function and a pay query from an employee, Wellways discovered it had underpaid more than 500 current and former employees’ entitlements under the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 between 2014 and 2020.

Underpaid employees were across the company’s operations in Queensland, NSW, the ACT, Victoria and Tasmania and included full-time, part-time and casual workers. Staff were underpaid minimum entitlements as a result of Wellways incorrectly classifying them or failing to progress them, when eligible, from one pay-point to the next. Employees performing sleepover-shifts were underpaid overtime entitlements and night-shift penalties.

Under the EU, Wellways is also required to display workplace notices detailing its workplace law breaches, apologise to workers and provide the FWO with information about the new systems and processes it has implemented for ensuring compliance in future.

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