Woolworths trolley deed a warning to more
The compliance deed commits the supermarket giant to monitor its contractors to ensure they’re paying their workers correctly and meeting workplace obligations.
“It does serve as a warning to companies that are using labour contracting arrangements particularly in what we would say are high risk industries … where the work is labour intensive, (and) is low-skilled,” Ombudsman Natalie James told ABC radio on Wednesday.
James congratulated Woolworths for agreeing to the compliance deed, following Coles stepping up after its was taken to court a few years ago. Under the deed Woolworths is required to audit pay records of businesses tendering for trolley collection contracts and any trolley collector who is deemed to have been underpaid since July 1 2014 will be back-paid.
“We need to be looking at other industries as well,” she said, nominating cleaning, security and horticulture as being on her radar.
Such sectors attract visa holders who are often not aware of their rights or are hesitant to come forward to seek help, James said. The ombudsman has begun 17 legal proceedings against trolley collection businesses over the last decade.