• By The Financial District

AUSSIE WATCHDOG SUES WOOLWORTHS FOR LABOR UNDERPAYMENT

Australia's largest supermarket chain Woolworths Group is being sued by the country's industrial relations watchdog for underpaying staff, more than a year after the retailer admitted not paying thousands of workers in full.

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The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) on Thursday filed civil proceedings at the Federal Court seeking the repayment of outstanding amounts it alleges Woolworths still owes its workers, as well as penalties against the supermarket giant.


After closely reviewing a sample of 70 employee files out of about 19,000 workers that were allegedly underpaid, the regulatory body found Woolworths had only back-paid about 40% of the A$1.172 million is still owed those people.


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The regulator wants the court to force Woolworths "to rectify the total outstanding underpayments in relation to the 70 managers whose records were assessed and ... to then apply those calculation methods to rectify any underpayments owed to all other affected salaried managers, plus interest and superannuation," it said in a statement on Friday.


Woolworths, for its part, stated it was reviewing the proceedings and continued to remediate affected staff, and that there was "considerable uncertainty" about the issues raised by the proceedings. So far, it had repaid A$370 million to current and former employees, it added.



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Happyornot makes feedback terminals measuring customer satisfaction sing smiley-face buttons.
Happyornot makes feedback terminals measuring customer satisfaction sing smiley-face buttons.