Labor believes that all employees are entitled to a guaranteed safety net of employment conditions, including a guaranteed wage.
While it is reasonable for an employer to ask employees to present a professional appearance, that safety net would be undermined if an employer could require an employee to spend money in their employer’s store on expensive clothing or indeed other items.
Employees’ wages belong to the employee.
That is why the Fair Work Act provides that a business can’t unreasonably direct the employee on how to spend their wages.
The Fair Work Act provides that an employer can’t directly or indirectly make an employee spend money in a particular way, including purchasing specific things, if it is an unreasonable requirement. If the request is unreasonable, then the employee can recover the money they were made to spend, and the employer could face penalties.
I encourage any employee who believes they are being unreasonably required by their employer to spend their wages in a particular way to seek advice from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
www.fwo.gov.au or 13 13 94
I have also asked the Fair Work Ombudsman to discuss this issue with the unions and employers to raise awareness about these rights in the retail industry.