Australian service station forced to back pay $2.3 million in ent

Courtesy of Australian Payroll Association

An Australian service station company has been ordered to compensate its staff with $2.3 million in owed entitlements after an investigation revealed more than 1,000 employees were owed annual leave.

A leading Australian service station company has been directed to back pay or credit $2.3 million staff entitlements after it was discovered 1,524 workers were owed annual leave.

On The Run is one of South Australia’s largest private employers, also operating in parts of Victoria and Western Australia.

After receiving complaints from a large number of employees, the Fair Work Ombudsman launched an investigation, inspecting 15 sites, interviewing employees and managers, and reviewing time and wage records.

The investigation revealed that between July 2018 and February 2023, 1,524 employees had not been correctly identified as shift workers, resulting in four weeks of annual leave accruement as opposed to the correct five.

On the Run will have to bay pay 934 former employees $975,820, which includes $792,685 in annual leave, $138,720 in leave loading, and $44,415 in interest.

The company has had to credit $1.3 million in entitlements, including leave loading, for 590 current workers who were owed more than 43,900 hours of annual leave.

Employees affected were mainly console operators or roadhouse attendants in South Australia.

Victorian employees in Horsham, Mildura, Ararat, and Traralgon were also impacted.

Fair Work Ombudsman Anna Booth said the matter serves as a warning to all employers about what is at stake if they fail to correctly categorise their employees.

“In this matter, a failure to correctly identify employees as shift workers led to long-term breaches, and significant staff underpayments and rectification costs,” Ms Booth said.

“Large employers need to place a much higher priority on having systems and processes in place that ensure employees’ full lawful entitlements are met, year-in, year-out.”

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