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Who is to blame?

Written by Lee-Anne Hunt – The HR Dept Ringwood

Yet another business is publicly blamed for underpayments to their employees.


Please don’t think I’m supportive of businesses who knowingly do the wrong thing; it’s just I’m not that surprised. Our Modern (is 2010 still Modern?) Awards system is confusing and open to interpretation at the best of times. And provides a place to hide for quite some time at the worst.


Businesses are being fined left, right and centre. And where is that money going? Of course, to fund more investigations; that has big business shaking and small business completely terrified!


On the surface that’s great for employees. But is it? I know businesses who won’t grow because they don’t want to employ people because its all too hard and there’s too much risk, even when they try their best to do it right. And don’t even get me started on how employers are supposed to offer flexibility and attractive working conditions when the Awards just aren’t set up to accommodate the demands of the current and future workforce in this space. So, guess what Australia that means less jobs and less opportunities.


I don’t want to see a situation where employees are taken advantage of. What I do want is an overhaul of the system to make it easier for those employers who want to do the right thing. And easier for employees to make sure for themselves they are being paid right!


So how about we use the money from the fines to make our system better not just hunt down offenders? How about the Australian Government asks businesses, employees and their HR teams what would work? A Taskforce maybe? I’d be up for that!