In July, the Health Services Union made an Application to the Fair Work Commission in response to underpayment of wages by Laverty Pathology. The Union asked the Commission to make orders compelling the company to pay wages correctly and in full, as required by the enterprise agreement.
In response to our submissions, Laverty provided the Commission with a series of dates by which it said all outstanding pay issues would be corrected and indicated that all workers would be back paid by 10 August 2020. The Commission decided to give Laverty the benefit of the doubt and declined to issue the orders the HSU asked for until Laverty had actually missed the abovementioned dates for payment.
The Fair Work Commission has since made orders, but in terms different to those sought by the HSU. On 9 September 2020, Laverty wrote to the HSU indicating that it expected back pay would be made to all workers by late October, but declined to give any specific dates or guarantees as to the time by which this would be completed.
Despite Laverty’s various excuses for its delayed payments, it is clear that Laverty has breached the enterprise agreement by refusing to pay wages correctly and in full. On this basis, the HSU is considering further legal action against Laverty to seek penalties for breaching the enterprise agreement and underpaying workers. We will provide an update on the status of this matter within the next week.