Starbucks is the latest major company to join Australia’s ever-growing wage theft shame file.
The coffee company has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Under the terms of the EU, Starbucks will make a $150,000 “contrition payment” to the Commonwealth.
Starbucks latest company to join wage theft shame file
Starbucks discovered the underpayments during a 2020 review of their time and payroll systems.
The company failed to comply with the Award-requirement to have written agreements in place specifying the regular workdays and hours that made up each part-time employee’s ‘ordinary hours’ of work.
This led to Starbucks failing to when part-time employees were entitled to be paid overtime entitlements.
The coffee giant also underpaid some employees annual leave and public holiday entitlements.
A smaller number of full-time store managers were also underpaid due to Starbucks paying them annual salaries that were insufficient to cover their minimum entitlements.
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The affected employees
The wage theft affected 2,427 workers in 52 stores in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast between 2014 and 2020.
They worked as baristas, supervisors and assistant managers.
Starbucks has subsequently made payments of $4.57 million.
This includes more than $4.34 million in wages and entitlements, $180,000 in interest and $40,000 in superannuation.
Individual back-payments range from $20 to $18,574. The average back-payment is $1,883.
The EU requires Starbucks to provide evidence to the FWO of its completed back-payments by the end of September.
Wage theft shame file
Starbucks joins a growing wage theft shame file that includes some of Australia’s biggest employers.
For example, Woolworths, Coles, Commonwealth Bank, 7-Eleven, Retail Super Group and the ABC.
Meanwhile, industrial advocate Miles Heffernan said there is no excuse for wage theft.
“We’re talking about big companies that have full-time accountants to run their rosters and payroll systems,” he said.
“If they can get other parts of their business to run efficiently and legally – then they should be able to pay their workers properly too.”
Mr Heffernan advised anyone who is not receiving their proper wages and entitlements to contact wagetheft.net.au as soon as possible.
“Our expert team know wage theft laws intimately and has extensive experience recovering every last cent owed to our clients,” Mr Heffernan said.
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