All time worked is time to be paid
A Fair Work Australia case highlighted the need for retailers to closely evaluate the way they direct the tasks of their workers, with particular attention to the ‘open’ and ‘close’ procedures, with the result clear all time worked must be time paid including ‘open’, ‘close’ and ‘shift changeover’ tasks.
Fair Work Australia has ordered international retailer Super-A-Mart to pay 900 workers more than $1.3m and undertake a series of remedial measures after a complaint highlighted a systemic failure in the management of open and close at their retail sites. Staff were required to attend the worksite and complete ‘open’ work tasks before their paid shift began, and/or stay on the worksite to complete ‘close’ work tasks after their paid shift was completed. So they were opening and closing the retail sites without being paid for the time it took to complete these tasks.
Also as a result of this case it was highlighted that work based meetings and events that were conducted outside of rostered hours must be paid time.
It is the nature of retail service stations that safety equipment needs to be checked, installed and operational, cash floats need to be securely reconciled and all pre open checks must be performed before a site can begin operating, and the whole process is reversed for the ‘close’ period. ACAPMA Members are reminded that those work tasks must be provided for within the rostered time for each employee.
As Nicolas Wilson, General Manager of the Fair Work Ombudsman, remarked in relation to this case, “a small mistake affecting a large workforce over an extended period of time can result in a hefty bill for back payment of wages”
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