Firm to pay more than $4.5 million to compensate underpaid workers

Company failed to pay employees for string of entitlements

Firm to pay more than $4.5 million to compensate underpaid workers

Recruitment and on-hire firm Hudson Global Resources (Aust) Pty Limited has recently signed an Enforceable Undertaking (EU) with the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) and committed to paying more than $4.5 million to its underpaid workers.

Hudson employs thousands of casual employees who are on-hire or labour-hire employees and work mainly in white-collar jobs. They’ve been engaged to perform assignments of varying lengths for their clients. After Hudson’s reported its underpayment issues to the FWO in late 2020, an internal review found that it had applied the wrong awards to some workers and incorrectly failed to apply any award to others.

A subsequent review covering most on-hire employees found Hudson had failed to pay the required minimum pay rates, casual loading, overtime and public holiday penalty rates, shift work penalties and allowances. It had also failed to provide required meal breaks and minimum shift engagements.

According to FWO’s report, Hudson has admitted that more than 5,000 current and former on-hire employees were underpaid more than $3 million, plus at least $300,000 in superannuation between 2014 and 2020.

In a media release, Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said that an EU was “appropriate” as Hudson had demonstrated “a firm commitment to rectifying all underpayments and changing its practices.”

“Under the EU, Hudson has committed to implementing stringent measures to improve compliance and protect the rights of its workforce. These measures include engaging, at the company’s own cost, an independent auditing firm to check its compliance with workplace laws during the next two years,” Parker said.

“This matter highlights how important it is for employers to classify all staff correctly from day one. Businesses who fail to invest the time and resources to ensure they are meeting all award entitlements quickly risk facing large-scale back-payment bills,” Parker added.

Under the EU, Hudson must make a $172,000 contrition payment to the Commonwealth’s Consolidated Revenue Fund. Hudson must also apologize to workers and implement a central hotline for employees to ask back payment inquiries. It is also ordered to disclose the details of its workplace law breaches on its website and social media.

The underpaid employees were based in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. Some of their positions included receptionist, business analyst and customer service officer.

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