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Aldi ordered to fork out millions in backpay

<p dir="ltr">Aldi has been found to be underpaying its warehouse staff after ordering employees to start their shift 15 minutes before they actually clock in. </p> <p dir="ltr">The German supermarket may be liable to pay millions of dollars in compensation to past and present employees after the Federal Court found Aldi breached employment laws. </p> <p dir="ltr">Judge Douglas Humphreys said that it was “clear implied direction” that employees were required to start 15 minutes prior to their shift to complete safety checks on their machines. </p> <p dir="ltr">“There was no personal benefit to the employee in the activities carried out. Each was to the benefit of the employer,” Judge Humphreys said in his findings.</p> <p dir="ltr">“In these circumstances, the court is satisfied that the activities carried out constitute work.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The SDA Union for Retail, Fast Food &amp; Warehouse Workers has further claimed that Aldi owes $10 million in unpaid wages for working an extra 10 minutes per shift. </p> <p dir="ltr">This is likely to affect 4,000 previous and present warehouse workers.</p> <p dir="ltr">Aldi has accepted the court’s findings and is currently reviewing ways to implement the payment toward affected employees but questioned the number given by the SDA. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We are reviewing the implication of the court’s decision on other employees across our business and will seek to apply the principles of the court’s decision fairly to any other affected employees,” an Aldi spokesperson said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Numbers quoted by the SDA are significantly inflated and are not representative of the number of employees we believe may be impacted by the decision.”</p> <p dir="ltr">NSW branch secretary Bernie Smith said they are still working on individual back payments required to their members.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Unlike the way the multinational likes to present itself in its advertisements, it turns out Aldi is not good and not different.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Multinational companies operating in Australia can’t set their own rules.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Judge Humphreys will make an order in regards to payments on Friday. </p> <p> </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>


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