Uniqlo says sorry after uncovering $25 million in underpayments

Uniqlo Underpayments SMH

Fashion retailer Uniqlo has issued an apology to its current and former employees in Australia, as the company recently discovered underpayments totalling $25 million to about 7,900 staff.

The company filed documents with the corporate regulator, revealing its financial performance for the 12 months ending August 31, 2022. Uniqlo has set aside $21.1 million to compensate employees who were affected between July 1, 2015, and August 31, 2021. Additionally, they have allocated an extra $3.9 million for the financial year 2021-22 after identifying further non-compliance with obligations under the general retail industry award.

The company acknowledged that the calculation errors were discovered during a review conducted by a specialist firm of its systems. Uniqlo assured that they are taking the issue seriously and are working to rectify and remediate the situation as swiftly as possible. They have reported the matter to the Fair Work Ombudsman and are actively contacting the affected individuals to arrange for the back payment of their owed wages, interest, and superannuation.

Despite the underpayment issue, Uniqlo’s financial figures showed strong performance in Australia, with a 26.4% increase in reported revenue, reaching $422.3 million in 2022. This growth coincided with the country’s emergence from pandemic-related lockdowns. Uniqlo’s profit for 2022 stood at $32 million, significantly higher than the restated profit of $3.6 million for 2021 after accounting for the underpayment provision.

Uniqlo entered the Australian market in 2014, expanding to over 30 stores across the country. The company remains committed to addressing the underpayment issue, implementing improvements to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

Jul 26, 2023

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