Wage compliance continues to dominate news headlines in 2019. Retail executives and leadership teams rightly ought to be turning their mind to the systems that support payroll compliance in their businesses. In this challenging time where wage compliance is not just ‘a nice thing to have’ but an essential aspect of any business, businesses are now compelled to proactively monitor, review and resolve any issues that may arise. The National Retail Association stands ready, willing and able at the forefront of this new frontier to support retail executive and management teams.

In an industrial relations system where the regulatory instruments don’t always make sense, it is no surprise that non-compliance is substantially unintentional. Where a businesses are ending up in the spotlight, it is not because there is something inherently criminal in the entrepreneurial mindset, but generally because the circumstances that the business is required to deal with do not gel with any particular provision of an industrial instrument. Payroll compliance issues often arise from systems that don’t support compliance from an award interpretation perspective, an inadequate internal auditing mechanism or a combination of both. Wage non-compliance will typically arise from:

  • misinterpreting modern awards and enterprise agreements;
  • misunderstanding entitlements and allowances;
  • misclassifying employees; and
  • misapprehending which modern award applies to your business

The National Retail Association’s popular online workshop, Rostering for Compliance Under the General Retail Industry Award, runs again in March. For all of the details, click here.

Further, state governments across the country continue to have “wage theft” on the agenda. Last week, following the Queensland inquiry into wage theft last year,  the Queensland Government announced its support of making wage theft a criminal offence.  Additionally, the Western Australian inquiry into wage theft has now commenced, with the inquiry to consider:

  • whether the current State and Federal regulatory framework for dealing with “wage theft” is effective in combating “wage theft” and supporting affected workers; and
  • whether new criminal laws should be introduced in the State to address “wage theft”.

The National Retail Association continues to consult with state governments across the country in relation to wage compliance. As with the Queensland and South Australian inquiries, we will be making submissions to the Western Australian inquiry to ensure that the voices of retailers are heard on this important issue.

As the most representative association for the retail industry and the only association with a dedicated team of in-house workplace relations lawyers, the NRA is at the forefront of leading proactive wage compliance campaigns on behalf of its members. In this age of specialisation, it is important to remember that the most expensive top-tier law firm is unlikely to deal with the same few industrial instruments day in, day out. Our team of experts live and breathe the laws that regulate retail and fast food businesses.  NRA is a trusted provider of key services, by both businesses and by the regulatory bodies, with a skill-set which covers independent auditing, dealing with the regulator on behalf of businesses, and providing training and education to managers and employees, the NRA provides a complete suite of services to businesses facing compliance issues.

If you have any concerns with compliance issues, please contact NRA Legal on 1800 RETAIL (738 245).