Fair Work confirms Camp Australia enters Enforceable Undertaking after self reporting payment irregularities
The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has confirmed that outside school hours care (OSHC) provider Camp Australia has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking after an internal review by the provider discovered underpaid entitlements amounting to around $1.7 million over a six year period.
The company self-reported the issue to FWO in December 2019 after a manager at one of its holiday camps raised underpayment concerns, which in turn prompted the review.
“Our investigation found underpayments were the result of deficiencies in the company’s payroll system, policies and governance processes” and that the Enforceable Undertaking committed the company to stringent measures to improve workplace compliance,” FWO Sandra Parker said.
Camp Australia has apologised on behalf of the Board for the inadvertent error.
“Since we identified the underpayment in 2019 and self-reported it to the Fair Work Ombudsman, we have paid out in full, including interest, all current affected staff,” a spokesperson noted.
“We have also contacted and paid over 99.8 per cent of former staff affected and continue our efforts to locate and pay the remaining 0.2 per cent.”
The measures undertaken by Camp Australia follow what the spokesperson termed “an intensive process” over the past 18 months by the company’s new management team to “dramatically improve the quality and consistency of services and business governance.”
Enforceable Undertaking outlines key actions for Camp Australia to take
In total, Camp Australia is back-paying 7,420 current and former employees a total of $1.75 million (not including interest and superannuation) of underpaid entitlements including overtime, annual and personal leave entitlements, and first aid, fare, meal and vehicle allowances with individual back-payments ranging from $0.40 to over $12,250.
As part of the FWO’s Enforceable Undertaking Camp Australia committed to a range of actions and measures to address past and future wage related irregularities.
The Enforceable Action requires Camp Australia to take the following actions:
- Camp Australia will engage, at the company’s own cost, an independent auditor to check its compliance with workplace laws for the next two years.
- Camp Australia must provide Fair Work with information about systems and processes it has developed for ensuring compliance in the future.
- Camp Australia is required to display notices on its website, and on social media detailing its breaches.
- Camp Australia must publish a notice in The Weekend Australian Financial Review, apologise to workers, and commission training on workplace relations laws for managers.
- Camp Australia must commission an independent organisation to operate a Hotline for employees for six months.
- Camp Australia must also make a $122,167.56 contrition payment to the Commonwealth’s Consolidated Revenue Fund.
The measures Camp Australia is required to take are broadly similar to those received by long day care provider Only About Children who Fair Work disclosed entered into an Enforceable Undertaking to address self reported payment irregularities discovered between 2013 and 2019.
In addition, G8 Education self-reported their own payment irregularity issues, and, as disclosed at yesterday’s AGM, payments to impacted employees will have been substantially completed by July 2021, although as yet the FWO has not formally published any Enforceable Undertaking details in relation to the matter.
To read Fair Work’s media release in relation to the matter please click here.