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Crown forced to back pay employees over $1.2m

Regulation

The casino and resort operators in Melbourne and Perth have signed an enforceable undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO).

By Josh Needs 11 minute read

Casino and resort operators Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth have had to back pay employees over $1.2 million, including superannuation and interest, along with signing an enforceable undertaking with the FWO. 

Crown Resorts, the Crown Group’s parent company, self-reported the underpayments to the regulator in March 2020 after the Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker sent out a letter to all of Australia’s top 100 ASX-listed companies urging them to prioritise payroll compliance. 

The FWO found the underpayments were caused by Crown wrongly identifying some of its employees as award-free resulting in it not meeting the obligations under four different awards and also failing to keep all employee records. 

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Due to this, Crown underpaid 200 current and former employees approximately $1.025 million, excluding superannuation, interest and gratuity, between July 2014 and June 2020. 

The FWO said the firm had back paid over $1.2 million, including superannuation and an additional 10 per cent of interest and gratuity, to 192 of the current and former employees. The enforceable undertaking requires it to make the back payments to the final eight within 180 days. 

The Melbourne business remediated $567,000 in back payments to 102 of its 110 underpaid workers, with individual payments ranging from $22 to $66,714. 

The Perth business back paid all 90 workers more than $659,000 with the individual payments ranging from five dollars to $55,192. 

The FWO’s enforceable undertaking also required both Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth to make a combined $350,000 contrition payment to the Commonwealth Consolidated Revenue Fund. 

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the enforceable undertaking was the appropriate action to take due to Crown’s cooperation with its investigation and commitment to rectifying underpayments. 

“Under the enforceable undertaking, Crown has committed to implementing stringent measures to ensure all its current and future workers are paid correctly,” said Ms Parker. “These measures include commissioning, at its own cost, two independent annual audits to check its compliance with workplace laws.”

“As I called out to the ASX top 100 in early 2020 and have said consistently ever since – employers need to place a high priority on their workplace obligations.”

“Crown’s failures to apply relevant awards to some of its employees and to ensure annual salaries met all minimum entitlements for hours worked led to long-running underpayments of its staff, and a larger remediation bill.” 

The FWO said the enforceable undertaking will also require Crown to write to all underpaid employees to notify them of the commencement of it, as well as publish notices in newspapers, its website, and its Facebook page regarding the firm’s contraventions. 

 

 

Josh Needs

Josh Needs

AUTHOR

Josh Needs is a journalist at Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser, which are the leading sources of news, strategy, and educational content for professionals in the accounting and SMSF sectors.

Josh studied journalism at the University of NSW and previously wrote news, feature articles and video reviews for Unsealed 4x4, a specialist offroad motoring website. Since joining the Momentum Media Team in 2022, Josh has written for Accountants Daily and SMSF Adviser.

You can email Josh on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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