Facility

Optus Retailco stores operated across Australia.

Incident Type

Underpayment of wages and entitlements to employees.

Date of Incident

January 2014 to March 2020.

Penalty Imposed

$7.8 million in back payments, $450,000 contrition payment to the Commonwealth's Consolidated Revenue Fund, additional measures for future compliance.

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Introduction

Optus Retailco, a subsidiary of Singtel Optus, is issuing more than $7.8 million in back payments to underpaid employees across Australia, following an enforceable undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Details of the Incident

After self-reporting to the Fair Work Ombudsman in April 2021, Optus Retailco identified underpayments to employees, including retail consultants and store managers, between January 2014 and March 2020 due to inadequate payroll systems and practices.

Operational Context

The underpayments involved base pay, weekend and public holiday loadings, meal allowances, overtime, penalty rates, and leave entitlements. A total of 3744 current and former employees have been affected, with individual payments ranging from $11 to about $34,000.

Court’s Decision and Impact on Victims

Under the enforceable undertaking, Optus Retailco has committed to stringent measures to ensure accurate future wage payments, including further reviews, independent audits, and contrition payments totaling $450,000 initially, plus additional payments based on future findings.

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