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Are you compliant? The importance of regular wage and salary audits

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Recently, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) took legal action against Super Retail Group, the owners of Supercheap Auto, Rebel Sport, BCF and Macpac, for approximately $1.14 million in unpaid wages owed to Super Retail Group’s staff. 

FWO has alleged that Super Retail Group has failed to honour the minimum legal entitlements of staff in what it has called a ‘serious contravention’ of the Fair Work Act, given the significant amount of unpaid overtime work performed. 

FWO has also alleged that the remediation programme conducted by Super Retail Group was not sufficient and only resulted in partial repayments of outstanding wages and salary entitlements to its staff. 

According to the FWO, what this shows is that if the annual salaries do not cover all minimum lawful entitlements for all hours actually worked, the results can be substantial back-payment bills, plus the risk of significant court-ordered penalties. Penalties can also be higher for serious contraventions.

This is simply one of a number of high-profile wage-related scandals in the news recently, some of which have even led to things such as ‘Wage Theft’ being criminalised in some Australian states. 

While it may not be the most egregious example out there, it does show that any business that does regularly revisit or audit the entitlements of staff versus what staff are actually receiving faces a significant litigation risk. 

This could be from one or potentially a group of staff members (think potential class action), the relevant regulator or even both. Many of you reading this likely would have felt your heart rate accelerate just a little at the thought of this happening to your business, but it really is avoidable. 

Regular audits of wages and salary entitlements of staff, along with comparing what they are entitled to do compared with what they are actually receiving, are incredibly effective in mitigation the risk of penalties or litigation for your business. 

I understand you may be wondering why a business as large as Super Retail Group could make such a mistake and if they made that mistake, what is to stop your business falling into the same trap. 

The reality is that it does not have to involve a huge overhaul of your business, nor do you have to employ a huge HR team to tackle this issue. Businesses of any size and industry are able to hire the services of a third-party consultant to conduct these audits without having to do the work themselves. 

Performance Advantage is here to assist you with this, as we already have an audit available for use by your business. We also have additional advisory services about further steps you can take to mitigate the possibility your business is inadvertently underpaying its staff or otherwise not providing them with their legally-mandated entitlements. 

If you would like our assistance or if you would like to discuss wage and salary audits further, you are more than welcome to contact us at or by clicking the button below.

Remember, there is a one letter difference between ‘compliant’ and ‘complaint’. 

Suzanne Diprose, Director
0408 897 079