High profile cases of wage underpayment with impacts to brand and reputation, significant penalties and the threat of new criminal offences for serious breaches are prompting business stakeholders to ask their payroll and HR teams “are we sure we are paying correctly?”

Everyone should be asking this question.

Businesses are required to innovate and evolve in order to remain competitive and meet consumer needs. This has increased pressure to drive down costs, create more flexible access for customers (including longer opening hours), create more nimble structures and operating models and scale both organically and inorganically. The confluence of these factors, coupled with complexity in awards and underinvestment in systems and compliance arrangements, have created the ‘perfect storm’ for endemic underpayment in corporate Australia.

There is no silver bullet to solve this, as the root cause of the underpayment issues vary from organisation to organisation. In many cases, it’s not a question that can be answered with a confident “yes we are” response… So why is it so hard?

It depends on who you ask, because the complexity is driven by a combination of factors.

Five stakeholders in the wages debate

There needs to be a collaborative effort to try and get pay right within an organisation. HR, payroll, workplace relations, legal, finance and operations teams need to collaborate to ensure they have the appropriate processes and monitoring measures in place to ensure that employees are being paid what they are entitled to. In this report we look at various stakeholder’s responsibilities including learnings they can take away.

We explore your:

  • payroll team’s perspective and the 122 different awards
  • HR team’s perspective and the need to balance the operating model to meet changing employee expectations for greater flexibility
  • industrial relations and legal team’s perspective
  • finance and operations team’s perspective on employee entitlements and the companies operating model.



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