How to check if you’ve been underpaid
AS COLES joins a growing list of Australian companies short-changing staff, here's everything you need to know to find out if you're being underpaid - and what do about it.
Supermarket giant Coles has become the latest company named and shamed for ripping off employees, on Tuesday admitting to underpaying staff a whopping $20 million.
The popular chain on Tuesday admitted one per cent of its employees had been underpaid under award rate - amounting to $4 million across liquor outlets and $16 million at supermarkets.
It follows a string of well-known companies fessing up to paying staff under award rate including Bunnings, Qantas, Dinner by Heston, Rockpool Group and Michael Hill.
Companies now face being named and shamed for underpaying staff members by plastering signs admitting the error and banned from employing vulnerable migrants.
Are you being underpaid?
So how do you know if you're getting ripped off, and what do you do if you are? Here's all you need to know to ensure you're getting the pay you are entitled to.
1. Check your correct pay using the Fair Work Ombudsman's pay calculator here. The tool can also be used to check your leave entitlements or other questions relating to leave. Your award can also be found online using this tool here.
TIP: For employees covered by an enterprise agreement, the best thing to do is to find your agreement here and ensure your pay and leave is commensurate with the agreement.
4. If you are being underpaid, contact your employer saying you believe you are being underpaid and the award you believe you should be covered by and your classification. If this does not work, write a letter of demand.
5. If your employer does not respond or takes adverse action against you, contact the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94 or with an online inquiry for free advice. They may suggest you lodge a complaint with them.
6. The Ombudsman may also advise you to contact a lawyer or make a claim on your own by applying to the Federal Circuit Court or a Local Court for claims under $20,000. For more than this, you can apply to the Federal or Circuit Court.