Call centre operator back-pays 43 workers

A Gold Coast call centre operator has back-paid $77,286 to 43 employees after audits by the Fair Work Ombudsman identified breaches of workplace laws.

Global Interactive Operations Pty Ltd, based at Broadbeach, has entered into a Court-Enforceable Undertaking (EU) after admitting to underpaying workers between July 2016 and February 2019.

The company performed call centre work on behalf of Global Interactive Group Pty Ltd, who were engaged by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance to deliver marketing services.

Fair Work Inspectors found that the employer failed to pay casual workers their minimum casual loading, and failed to pay penalty rates for evening, overtime and public holiday hours that workers were entitled to under the Contract Call Centres Award.

Some casual workers were not provided with a minimum of three hours’ work per shift, as the Award required. Individual underpayments ranged from $2.70 to $9392.65, and some workers were under 25.

The Fair Work Ombudsman assessed that a Court-Enforceable Undertaking was appropriate given that the company cooperated with the investigation, made admissions of workplace law breaches and rectified staff underpayments.

“Under the Court-Enforceable Undertaking, Global Interactive Operations will overhaul its business practices to improve workplace compliance. The company faces ongoing scrutiny from the Fair Work Ombudsman, including external audits of its workforce for five years,” Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said.

“We have no tolerance for employers who underpay young employees, as they can be particularly vulnerable if they are unaware of their rights at work. We will continue to take enforcement action to ensure that all workers receive their lawful entitlements.”

Under the EU, the company must engage independent auditors to check if any other employees across the business have not been receiving their correct entitlements, and rectify any errors. Global Interactive Operations must also issue a letter of apology to each of the affected workers.

The company has admitted that it breached workplace laws. In addition to back-paying staff, Global Interactive Operations will make a gesture of contrition through a $5000 payment to the Commonwealth Government’s Consolidated Revenue Fund.

This investigation came out of the FWO’s Inquiry into supply chains of major charities: Australian charities face scrutiny in new Inquiry, which will conclude shortly with a report to be published.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has also stressed that it makes no allegations against Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

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