Payroll firm fined over underpayments

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Australian payroll firm EZY Accounting 123 has been slapped with a hefty over its involvement with underpaying workers.

The accounting firm performed the payroll function for its client, a Japanese fast food chain operated by a company named Blue Impression.

The accountant was found to have been “involved with” its client’s contraventions of the Australian employment laws by processing wages that were lower than award rates.

Blue Impression was fined $115,706.25 and EZY fined $53,880. EZY's fine was reduced to $51,330.

It is unclear whether an internal HR professional was involved with the contraventions.

The Federal Court Judge held that “where an alleged accessory is aware of a system producing certain outcomes, and those outcomes constitute contraventions of the [Fair Work] Act, it is unnecessary to show that the alleged accessory knew the details of each particular instance of those outcomes in order to show the requisite knowledge".

The case has implications for the outsourced payroll industry as it places a greater responsibility on outsourced HR and payroll providers to ensure that their clients comply with awards.

It is yet to be seen whether the case will have ramifications for regulation of the payroll industry in New Zealand.

 

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