An Australian fashion giant has copped a ‘yuge fine after it pleaded guilty to underpaying hundreds of workers long service leave.
Mosaic Brands Limited, which has 1110 stores across Australia, including Millers, Rivers, Katies, Rockmans and Noni B, has pleaded guilty to 324 offences in Downing Centre Local court — including underpaying long service leave to 223 workers — and was fined $29,000 on May 19.
The judge found that Mosaic Brands Limited did not intentionally underpay its workers and that it occurred due to negligence relating to the retail group’s payroll responsibilities, but the issue still needed to be penalised.
Per the Sydney Morning Herald, this is the largest number of long service leave underpayments that have been prosecuted at once in NSW. Literally, 223 workers not getting paid what they’re owed is bonkers.
The massive fine has also come right before the Minns government’s planned expansion of leave entitlements for gig workers, plus folks who work in fields such as disability and home care
Industrial Relations Minister Sophie Cotsis said Mosaic Brands’ record fine shined a light on the need for the planned expansion of leave entitlements, per the Australian Associated Press.
“The NSW Government is committed to standing up for workers and investigating businesses who are short-changing their staff, particularly at a time when so many individuals and family [sic] are doing it tough,” Cotsis said, per the publication.
Cotsis also noted that the court’s ruling was a reminder for all employers to make sure their employees have received their full entitlements.
“Long service leave applies to most NSW employees who are full-time, part-time or casuals,” Ms Cotsis said.
“It is up to the employer to conduct their own internal compliance reviews on a regular basis to make sure they are paying long service leave correctly.”
A spokesman for Mosaic Brands said that all entitlements were paid to all workers when the error was discovered.
The spokesman said: “The court was clear in highlighting what happened was not deliberate and that the company co-operated fully to swiftly rectify the issue.”