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Ballarat Call Centre Workers Underpaid, According to Workplace Watchdog


Ballarat, Australia, Sept, 2020 -- Workers at Ballarat's IBM call centre have been unfairly paid, according to the workplace watchdog.

The tech company has handed back $12 million to its Australian employees after underpaying them for eight years.

As of February, 1647 workers across Australia had been back-paid a total of $12.3 million for underpayments going back to 2012, the Fair Work Ombudsman says.

More underpayments are still being identified and IBM must repay all employees by October 16 as part of an enforceable undertaking signed with the ombudsman.

The company failed to apply more than 15 award entitlements and conditions. These included vehicle allowances, superannuation entitlements and annual leave loading.

A significant number of casuals at IBM's Ballarat contact centre were also paid the national minimum wage, instead of higher rates under the call centre award, which is reportedly about eight per cent more than the minimum wage - or $21.54 an hour.

IBM Australia Ltd and IBM Global Financing Australia Limited reported the underpayments to the ombudsman last year.

Individual back payments range from less than $1 to more than $145,000.

National Tertiary Education Union organiser Colin Muir said he was aware of at least one person in Ballarat who had received some money back from underpayments.

Secretary of Ballarat Regional Trades & Labour Council Brett Edgington said the IT industry was notoriously under-unionised.

"There's extreme disappointment in a company like IBM who failed to detect a relevant award and defaulted to national minimum wage. They are a global company with teams of human resources - you can't tell me that's a mistake," he said.


Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Source: https://www.thecourier.com.au

Date Posted: Thursday, September 17, 2020

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