Keeping up with Modern Awards


The recent media frenzy around the underpayment of staff by celebrity chef George Calombaris’ restaurant group has once again highlighted the ongoing issue of wage payments within the complex Modern Award system of Australia.

Over the past 3 years theres been a series of wage payment scandals in the media, which ultimately led the Government to adjusting the Fair Work Act by introducing the Protecting Vulnerable Workers Bill in September 2017.

Stellarossa was wellplaced to implement the changes. At the time the Bill was enacted, Stellarossa had an existing education, audit and compliance program in place for Franchise Partners. The Bill’s introduction provided an opportunity to review the existing process in the context of the new framework, and thereby strengthen the internal processes in this area. This brought them closer still to their goal of being an employer of choice in the sector.

A key area for improvement highlighted by the review was Employment / Time & Attendance rostering software. Stellarossa was using a popular software system at the time, which allowed Franchise Partners to manage their roster according to sales volume and collate the data for efficient payrolling. The system however, had no builtin Award interpretation processes. This meant that Franchise Partners had to interpret the Modern Award system themselves, which ultimately left them exposed to human error. Anyone who’s flicked through the pages of an Award knows that misinterpretation is a very easy thing to do! In turn, this created more internal work as the overall system relied on manual audit and analysis to detect possible errors.

After identifying the issue, Stellarossa commenced a project to identify a suitable software system that could handle the key requirements for the group, while also meeting the criteria of the Bill. After a 12month process that involved assessing, reviewing and trialling systems, Stellarossa chose to partner with FoundU as the approved supplier for their network.

The FoundU system afforded all the basic requirements for effective rostering, plus an additional suite of features to streamline staff management for Franchisees. The result is a system that has increased payroll compliance, reduced Franchise Partner HR and Payroll workload, improved staff communication, and Franchise Partners who have more time to spend on what matters most – a thriving business.