Unexpected discoveries are sometimes made in the course of collective bargaining.
For instance, as management tries to model the impact of certain cost increases (pay rises, enhanced entitlements) or cost reductions (cuts to conditions) on its business, it may consult payroll –to find out, say, how much overtime is being paid across the company.
Or employees may ask questions during consultations about whether they are getting their correct entitlements.
The answers to such questions can be quite surprising.
In the case of Silcar Communications (now part of Visionstream), such inquiries have revealed that as a result of a payroll system error the company has not been paying superannuation on weekend overtime, as required under the current EA.
This has been going on since 2012!
Visionstream has now moved to correct this situation which has led to some 220 employees being short changed. Back payments to March 2012 will be made by the end of November and will include a 10% top up as a “good will gesture”. The average back payment will be some $1,100.
Meanwhile, at Silcar Telecommunications (also part of Visionstream) a similar error has just come to light. It seems that as the various parts of the Visionstream business tried to coordinate their payroll systems earlier this year, Silcar Telecommunications employees’ superannuation payments fell back to 9.5% rather than the 10% they should have been getting under their EA.
This too is being rectified.
If there is a lesson in this it’s that all employees should regularly check their pay slips to ensure that they receiving the correct payments due to them under their agreements – including, in these cases, the back payments now due to them because of payroll errors.