A Melbourne-based business has been named and shamed over the practice of deducting wages from employees who took toilet breaks outside of their designated break time.
According to report published by the Herald Sun, three employees at an Aegis Australia call centre in the suburb of Werribee allegedly agreed to forfeit a ‘minimal’ amount of their wages in instances where they stepped away from their desk outside a designated break or lunch time.
An electronic time and attendance system installed at the premises reportedly requires staff members to explain if they are away from their desk for more than 90 seconds – an electronic alert will pop up on their computer when they return to their desk. It was also reportedly an option for employees to make up lost time at the end of their shift.
Staff threatened to report the matter to the Fair Work Ombudsman, and the Herald Sun claims that when Aegis was contacted, the company agreed to repay the wages to the three employees.
“After detailed review, three instances were identified where the process had failed and time deductions were made that were incorrect against standard operating procedures. The concerned employees have each been spoken to and the minimal monies owed will be paid in the next pay cycle,” Chief executive Andrew Hume said in a statement.