Following the article in Fairfax newspapers outlining the history of underpayments, and the subsequent media statement from PSS, there have been many questions asked about who knew what and when and we thought it best to set a few things straight.
Who know what and when?
Employees at Essendon first became aware that there were inconsistencies between their rates of pay and those that should have been paid under the Award back in December 2014. This is supported by emails to management from the time as well as a few employees actually being back paid as early as January 2015. For the company to say in their statement that they were not aware of the underpayment at Essendon until late 2015 is not true.
What have employees been underpaid for?
Employees have been underpaid for incorrect classification, incorrect rates of pay and youth wages being applied at the incorrect wage rates to name just a few.
Has everyone been back paid?
The article suggested that 85% of all employees (current and past) have been paid. The company's statement says that 90% have been back paid.
Following these reports the Union has spoken to a number of employees at some sites who have still not received anything.
If you are a current or former employee or you have questions regarding what you have been back paid please feel free to contact the SIA at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is an Individual Flexibility Arrangement (Sometimes called an EFA or IFA)?
An EFA allows employees and employers to vary the terms of your enterprise agreement. This may include changes to rates, penalties and allowances (as well as many other conditions). In the case of the PSS template that the Union has seen it removes provisions such as the minimum engagement of 3 hours (amongst other things) in return for nothing of benefit to the employee.
These arrangements must meet a few basic standards such as:
1. The employee MUST be better off than they would be had the arrangement not been in place
2. They MUST meet the genuine needs of the business and the employee
The Union believes that the EFA does not comply with these provisions and that employees should be paid for the full 3 hrs for the occasions where they have worked less that 3hrs. We have made an application to the Fair Work Commission to have this matter dealt with.
The Union has been in touch with many employees at PSS - to speak to someone or for more information please email email@example.com