Trolley collectors protected under new agreement

Australia’s largest trolley collection company United Trolley Collections (UTC) has renewed a compliance partnership with the Fair Work Ombudsman to ensure trolley collectors’ workplace rights are protected.

UTC engages independent contractors to provide trolley collection services to large retail businesses such as Coles, Woolworths, Kmart, Target and Big W.

The company signed its first proactive compliance deed (PCD) with the FWO in 2014, committing to a range of measures to improve compliance with workplace laws in its supply chain network.

A report released last year revealed that during the partnership, compliance levels with workplace laws at UTC’s supply chain network significantly improved. One audit covering more than 1100 trolley collectors found close to 95 per cent of trolley collectors being paid correctly.

UTC has now signed a second PCD with the FWO, which will continue to build on these positive outcomes. Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said she is confident the renewed partnership will continue to deliver benefits for workers in UTC’s supply chain.

“Our first Proactive Compliance Deed led to UTC dramatically improving its compliance with Australia’s workplace relations law,” Parker said. “We are committed to the success of this partnership as a means to eradicate exploitation and underpayment in the trolley collection industry. Supply chain regulation is a priority area for us. Working with businesses like UTC that head these supply chains helps ensure workers are getting their correct pay and entitlements.”

Under the new PCD, key actions UTC has committed to include are the following:

  • self-audit its operations to ensure compliance with the law (and have the audits independently verified)
  • open and regular communication with its current and future employees about their workplace rights and entitlements
  • monitor, review and enhance its payroll services to ensure compliance with workplace laws
  • provide annual workplace relations training throughout the supply chain to those who perform human resources, payroll and managerial and supervisory duties
  • report to the FWO on its efforts to resolve any disputes and provide evidence of back payments
  • meet and report regularly to the FWO about its compliance with workplace laws
  • withhold monies due to subcontractors until they have back-paid their employee wages.

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