Being a business owner is a tough gig. You are responsible for the daily operations, the all-important profit margins which keep your business afloat, but most importantly you are the gatekeeper to the livelihood of your employees and their families.
It is common that due to this daily juggling act business owners are required to master, that compliance can slip below the radar. The issue arises when years go by, and you are suddenly confronted with a large problem that not only financially affects your operations, but also affects the reputation of your business and the employees relying on you. This is exactly the situation that landed MasterChef star chef George Calombaris in hot water recently, resulting in his company MADE paying back $7.8 million in underpaid wages, and a hefty fine of $200,000 in contributions. Interestingly, the Fair Work Ombudsman(FWO) has forced him to use his profile now to speak at industry events on workplace compliance, because this is a problem the FWO is seeing become all too common.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker has indicated that the infringements on MADE should serve as a warning to all other employers. Costly mistakes in wages, compliance and bookkeeping could result in financial penalties that take years to fix. The FWO over the last two years has recovered millions of dollars across NSW businesses in unrepaid wages, and enforced infringements or fines on top of this. In 2018, the FWO found 48% of businesses they conducted a spot check on within NSW regions were non-compliant*.
When was the last time you reviewed your payroll and compliance practises? Avoiding the problem means you need to be able to look at your business operations from the inside out, at all times. This may not be practical for you to do personally, so a monitoring program such as Spotlight may be necessary to give you an integrated snapshot of your operations, enabling you to make informed decisions.
Depending on the size of your business, you may need to look to outsourcing CFO services to run the ruler over your company and work with you on analysing and reporting on the company’s finances, reducing costs, increasing efficiency and keeping you compliant and in the know.
Your CAAA Concierge can assist you with implementing a business monitoring system or advisory services to identify potential mistakes and issues before they arise, or to resolve the issue early.
*FWO Annual Reports 2018 & 2019, found at https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/access-accountability-and-reporting/annual-reports