Myer’s Corporate Practice
The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has criticised department store Myer’s corporate practice. This is in relation to a cleaning contractor that it alleges underpaid workers. The rebuke serves as a warning to all corporates. There is a need to ensure all business dealings are compliant to reduce the risk of formal redress and reputational damage. This includes those used in their supply chains. The matter also highlights the importance of choosing suppliers who provide the highest-quality service, even if these do not necessarily come at the cheapest rate.
The matter also highlights the importance of choosing suppliers who provide the highest-quality service, even if these do not necessarily come at the cheapest rate.
Myer has come under criticism from the FWO for the role it played in a matter currently before the Federal Court of Australia.
FWO launched a legal action against a cleaning contractor following allegations. It stated that Pioneer Personnel underpaid workers employed to clean Myer stores in locations across Australia.
Following investigations into the workplace practices of Pioneer Personnel, the FWO held various meetings with Myer to counsel the retail giant about its corporate practice. FWO also educated the company on the importance of ensuring its supplier’s practices are also compliant.
Myer has now cancelled their contract with Pioneer Personnel, but the cost to them in terms of time spent in counsel with the FWO, reputational damage and their overall rating for corporate policy is yet to be seen.
This is not the first time that Myer has been criticised for its apparent lack of knowledge of the particulars surrounding its supply chain. A similar complaint was brought against another cleaning contractor last July (more here).
Lessons from Myer’s case
In this instance, the message is clear:
- 1. Get the right advice on how to draft, implement and monitor your business practice and supply chain policies. This is to ensure you minimise your exposure to similar risks.
- 2. Choose a supplier based on the service they provide, and not the cost they purport to offer. Ensure you thoroughly research why their price is lower and whether it comes as a result of a compromise on quality. As always, the old adage rings true: if it seems too good to be true, it usually is.
If you would like to check if you have any risks in this area, including dealing with contractors, a discussion about your supply agreements or other compliance issues, click here now to book a time for a free 15-minute discussion with us.
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