Staff from Flight Centre Group subsidiary, Travel Money Oz, have lodged a dispute with the Fair Work Commission over claims of underpayment.
It comes just one week after the ABC published claims from past and present Flight Centre staff about excessive working hours and “low and confusing” methods of paying staff.
According to the ABC, the currency exchange business pays staff much the same as Flight Centre, with a low base retainer rate plus commission. Staff involved in the dispute claim it is difficult to earn the minimum Award wage at some stores.
“At some stores that’s fine, you will hit the minimum Award requirement. But in a lot of quieter stores you’ll get nowhere near it,” Former Travel Money Oz employee Todd Johnson told the ABC.
Johnson said staff who don’t make minimum Award get a top-up payment, just like Flight Centre employees, but not until the end of the financial year.
The Finance Sector Union, who lodged the dispute on behalf of Travel Money Oz staff, accused the company of wage theft.
“Travel Money Oz is requiring its employees to effectively do unpaid overtime. That’s not on in modern Australia,” said national assistant secretary of the FSU, Nathan Rees told the ABC.
Johnson also told the ABC the currency exchange business has similar price mark up issues to the ones described by Flight Centre staff.
“The exchange rate is what we would use to make money out of customers,” he said.
“The mark-up on our currency on some of them [customers] is crazy. It’s much higher than other companies and … if you’d walked 20 metres down the road you would have saved yourself hundreds of dollars, in some cases.”
A company spokesperson for Travel Money Oz has rejected the claims around both staff pay and markups.
“Travel Money [Oz employees] are paid at the Award level and receive commission payments on top of this,” the spokesperson told the ABC.
The spokesperson said the claims about markups were “not the case” and “illogical”.
“If prices are uncompetitive, customers simply won’t buy the product and no commission or revenue will be earned,” the spokesperson said.