A week after Melbourne’s Waratah Group announced redundancy packages, it has now confirmed that all financial department matters, including superannuation compliance, are in the process of being outsourced to an external accounting firm.
The print and marketing services company announced it was seeking staff redundancies on October 18 with those employees interested in taking up the offer to confirm their intentions by October 25. It also said the company would make its own decisions regarding redundant positions which management deemed necessary.
When Sprinter asked last week about the status of compulsory superannuation payments for staff, Waratah Group chief executive officer Brett Chalmers said he did not have the information available at that time but would confirm the details.
Since our original story was published last week a number of readers have written in asking about the status of superannuation payments, with one reader submitting a document that shows compulsory superannuation had not been paid since July 2018.
Compulsory Superannuation Guarantee rules stipulate a minimum of 9.5 per cent superannuation must be paid to all staff earning over $450 calendar month. The Australian Tax Office (ATO0 rules also say it must be paid at least quarterly. If superannuation payments are not paid on time, the employer faces paying a superannuation guarantee charge.
Not paying superannuation not only is unfair to the workers at a company but also puts the company at a distinct competitive advantage of other companies seeking to supply the same service to the market.
Chalmers has now confirmed to Sprinter that all financial department matters, including superannuation, have been outsourced to an external accounting firm.
“As part of the management restructure of Waratah I have decided to outsource the whole financial department and that includes compliances,” Chalmers told Sprinter today.
“We are working with them currently at the moment to clear up whatever is outstanding from the whole finance department.
“I’ve been in chair for four weeks and I have decided to outsource the financial department to an external accounting firm and they can go through all the compliance.
“We are in the process of outsourcing all our financial department an outsourced accounting firm and I am happy to come back to you in a week or two.”
At the time of the redundancy announcement, Chalmers told Sprinter there would be no forced redundancies at this stage.
“There is no forced redundancy. We all know the downturn of the print industry and especially the offset side of the print industry, so we are reducing our offset in line with everyone else in the industry,” Chalmers told Sprinter last week.
“Everyone else is doing the same thing so all we are asking for in the offset is if anyone wants to put their hand up for a voluntary redundancy, that’s all we’ve done. There is nothing else to it. It’s clear and simple, there is no forced.”
Chalmers did not say how many positions they are looking to make redundant, adding he was taking this path to act responsibly.
“We don’t have a set number in our head. It’s more of a dollar value saving across the group. We have done the responsible thing and been open and honest with everybody and not snuck around them without communicating so I think it is the best approach and the most honest approach,” he said.
“The print industry is a changing industry. Automation has come on board in a big way and the offset is affected. We can look at the paper companies and they are down 26 per cent on paper so it’s not a surprise.
“We are going about it the right way and asking for voluntary redundancies first round.”
Earlier this year the Australian Tax Office (ATO) moved to wind up Waratah Group over unpaid tax with company confirmed the bill was later paid in full.
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