And have you got much to say about this Mr Scomo?
Or about Seven 11, and all the others ripping off their employees?
No … deafening silence.
But did we make hay about a setka and anyone else considered fair game?
At the same time as ripping off their employees they handed presents from the government who chose to allow penalties to be slashed in the very business that’s not been paying its employees properly … WT *!
Another one for the Shame File!
Michael Hill jewellers admits it underpaid staff by up to $25 million
By business reporter Nassim Khadem
Updated 11 Jul 2019
Jewellery chain Michael Hill says it will be repaying its retail staff up to $25 million in wages after finding errors in its application of the retail award.
- An initial review revealed between $10 million and $25 million in wage underpayments over six financial years
- Michael Hill has now begun a more detailed review of all employee records, rostering practices and payments
- The company has been under financial pressure — its annual sales have dropped and a number of stores have closed
The Brisbane-based chain is the latest in a string of organisations, including the ABC, to admit to staff underpayments, and will face questions from the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO).
A spokesman for FWO said the agency was not made aware of the underpayment of workers at Michael Hill International prior to the ASX announcement by the business.
“The Fair Work Ombudsman is concerned by the scale of the reported underpayments and will contact Michael Hill International,” he said.
The FWO has recently successfully prosecuted a number of companies for unlawful underpayments, resulting in the courts imposing hefty penalties on companies, such as 7-Eleven.
Michael Hill, which operates more than 300 stores and employs about 2,600 staff globally, said an initial review of its Australian retail employment contracts and rostering practices was undertaken by its new chief executive Daniel Bracken, with the help of accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
This initial review showed non-compliance with some industry requirements over the past six financial years and may cost the jewellery chain up to $25 million to remedy.
“We will move as quickly as possible to rectify any underpayments with those team members affected,” Mr Bracken said in a statement to the ASX on Thursday morning.
“I will be in contact with all team members today to apologise on behalf of the company and to provide an outline of the process we are following to establish who is impacted.”
More detailed review now underway
The company has now begun a more detailed review of all employee records, rostering practices and payments, which would “take several months to complete”.
“The remediation of these issues, which occurred over the last six financial years, is estimated to be a one-off cost in the range of $10 million to $25 million,” the statement said.
“It is not presently anticipated that rectification and remediation will have any material impact on the underlying earnings of the company for financial year 2020 or any future financial years.”
The union that normally covers retail industry workers, SDA, said it did not currently have any members who are Michael Hill employees.
Mr Bracken was appointed CEO in September 2018 after heading Specialty Fashion Group, where he led the restructure and successful divestment of the Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph and Rivers brands.
He also has international luxury brand experience with Burberry London, where he held a number of senior executive roles, and as deputy CEO of Myer and CEO of The Apparel Group, owners of the Sportscraft, Saba, Willow and JAG fashion brands.
Michael Hill operates 306 stores globally, including 168 in Australia, 86 in Canada and 52 in New Zealand.
Its share price dropped almost 9 per cent by close on Thursday to 52 cents.
Jewellery sales struggle
In a separate trading update, the company said it posted a 0.1 per cent gain in June-quarter sales from continuing operations.
Same-store sales rose to $123.2 million in the quarter ended June 30, while total sales fell to $132.6 million, down 0.8 per cent from the same quarter in 2018.
“Even though we are experiencing an extremely competitive retail environment, particularly in Australia, with intensive competitor clearance related activities and lower foot traffic, the company has continued to deliver improved sales momentum for the fourth quarter,” Mr Bracken said.
During the year, ten new stores were opened and eleven under-performing stores were closed. This included closing five underperforming Emma & Roe stores during the year, leaving a total of 306 stores trading at 30 June 2019 (including the one remaining Emma & Roe store).
For the year, same-store sales were down 3.5 per cent at $524 million, while total sales were 4.5 per cent lower at $563.4 million.