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BaptistCare recently undertook a review of its payroll systems and processes and determined that it contravened the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) by incorrectly applying clauses of the Baptist Community Services Aged Care Enterprise Agreement 2011 and the BaptistCare NSW & ACT Aged Care Enterprise Agreement 2014 relating to annual leave loading for its shiftworker employees. This resulted in an underpayment of annual leave loading to 940 current and 1,200 former employees between 1 December 2011 and 12 July 2018.
On 7 November 2019, BaptistCare formally admitted to the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) that contraventions of Agreements had occurred and consequently a number of employees had been underpaid.
BaptistCare has now entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with the FWO to ensure its ongoing compliance with Commonwealth workplace laws.
BaptistCare will, as a result of the Enforceable Undertaking, commit to undertake a number of activities to ensure its ongoing compliance such as, conducting two independent audits and formally apologising to individual employees.
BaptistCare expresses its sincerest regrets and apologises for these contraventions.
If you worked for BaptistCare during the period of 1 December 2011 to 12 July 2018 and have queries or questions relating to your employment, please contact either:
Alternatively, anyone can contact the FWO via http://www.fairwork.gov.au
or on 13 13 94.
Tuesday 18 August
BaptistCare NSW & ACT has entered into an enforceable undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman to resolve a self-reported issue with its interpretation of leave loading affecting 2,140 current and former employees.
The miscalculation was revealed when BaptistCare undertook a detailed review into annual leave entitlements for its shift workers in July 2019 that resulted in underpayments totalling approximately $1.2 million and overpayments totalling $1.37 million between the period 1 December 2011 and 12 July 2018.
The review found shift workers who received Sunday and Public Holiday leave under the 2011 and 2014 enterprise agreements, may have been entitled to a more favourable leave clause which attracts leave loading. It also found some employees were awarded additional annual leave accruals to which they were not entitled.
The findings of this review prompted BaptistCare to self-report to the Fair Work Ombudsman in November 2019 to ensure transparency as an organisation and to advise we were correcting these irregularities.
Any BaptistCare employee who has received additional leave accruals in error was not required to reimburse this overpaid leave. All current shift workers who were found to be entitled to back payments have received full reimbursements.
BaptistCare takes this matter extremely seriously and is committed to meeting all legal obligations and finalising all measures requested by the Fair Work Ombudsman. The enforceable undertaking places certain requirements on BaptistCare including engaging the support of independent accounting and employment law specialists to conduct several audits of the organisation’s compliance with Fair Work regulations, reporting on upgrades to its payroll systems and making a contrition payment.
A BaptistCare spokesperson commented:
“BaptistCare sincerely apologises for this unintentional oversight and remains committed to ensuring our people receive their correct entitlements at all times.
“Since identifying and investigating the miscalculation of leave loading for shift workers last year we have taken responsibility and done the right thing by our people to ensure no one is left out of pocket. We have also invested in our systems and processes to ensure ongoing compliance with Fair Work regulations.”