NSW Government secures record fine against fashion giant for underpayment of workers
Australia’s largest specialty fashion retailer has received a record fine for underpaying long service leave, as the Minister for Industrial Relations signals a renewed focus on compliance to support a massive expansion of long service leave entitlements to tens of thousands of workers in NSW.
The NSW Employee Relations Inspectorate uncovered systemic underpayments of long service leave to 223 workers arising from payroll system errors at Mosaic Brands Limited and its subsidiaries.
This led to a $29,000 fine, which is a NSW record for underpaying long service leave entitlements.
This comes as Minister for Industrial Relations Sophie Cotsis looks to expand long service leave through a portable leave scheme for gig, disability, home care and other precarious workers – a key election promise of the Minns Labor Government.
Major fashion retail group, Mosaic Brands Limited and 2 of its subsidiaries, Noni B Holdings Pty Limited and Pretty Girl Fashion Group Pty Ltd fully cooperated with the investigation and pled guilty to 324 offences.
This is the largest ever number of offences prosecuted simultaneously in NSW for long service leave underpayments.
Mosaic Brands is the largest specialty fashion retail group in Australia with 1100 stores.
Mosaic Brands Corporate also entered into a Deed which commits the fashion giant to pay for an independent third party to conduct a full audit of their compliance with long service leave legislation.
The terms of the Deed require that the third party will be under the instruction of the NSW Government’s inspectorate unit.
In the Downing Centre Local Criminal Court the Magistrate concluded that while the underpayments were not deliberate, the offences were too serious and too widespread for there to be no penalty imposed.
For more information on Long Service Leave entitlements in NSW, visit NSW Employee Relations.
Quotes to be attributed to Minister for Industrial Relations Sophie Cotsis:
“The NSW Government is committed to standing up for workers and investigating businesses who’re short-changing their staff, particularly at a time when so many individuals and family are doing it tough.”
“The Criminal Court’s ruling is a reminder to employers, big and small, that they should be making sure their employees are receiving their full entitlements.”
“Long service leave applies to most NSW employees who are full-time, part-time or casuals. 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.”
“I would like to acknowledge Mosaic Brands Limited and its subsidiaries commitment to ensuring they pay long service leave correctly.”