The operator of the Uniting aged care homes is back-paying employees more than $3.3 million and has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman.
The Uniting Church in Australia Property Trust (NSW), a registered charity which runs more than 70 residential aged care facilities as well as other community services under the Uniting brand in NSW and the ACT, self-reported that it underpaid more than 9000 employees.
Uniting identified the underpayments when it conducted a review after receiving complaints from a number of its employees.
Many of the affected employees worked as front line carers and as community and disability services workers. They were covered by a number of different Enterprise Agreements.
The underpayments occurred as a result of errors made by Uniting in providing laundry, uniform and vehicle allowances as well as failing to provide shift workers an extra week of annual leave they were entitled to each year.
Uniting is back-paying 9561 workers a total of $3.36 million, which includes interest, for underpayments that occurred between 2013 and 2019.
While Uniting has already back-paid the majority of workers, the Enforceable Undertaking requires the organisation to pay any outstanding amounts to former employees by 15 August 2020, as well as a range of other obligations to ensure future compliance.
Under the Enforceable Undertaking, Uniting must also fund an independent organisation to operate a Hotline for the next four months that employees can use to make enquiries in relation to their entitlements, underpayments or related employment concerns.
Uniting is also required to display public, workplace and online notices detailing its workplace law breaches and apologise to workers.