Merivale has settled the underpayments class action that was brought against it in 2019.

The Merivale Class Action was commenced against M.R.V.L. Investments Pty Ltd (Merivale) in the Federal Court of Australia on 24 December 2019 on behalf of Merivale employees that were employed at any time during the period from 25 December 2013 to 24 December 2019.

The claim alleged that throughout that period, a number of Merivale employees were paid less than the minimum amounts to which they were entitled under the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010.  These employees included salaried workers who alleged that they were paid for 38 hours per week while being required to work at least 50-hour weeks without any overtime payments, as well as casual and salaried workers who allege that the rates that they were paid were less than their minimum entitlements.

As part of the claim, Adero Law also contended that Merivale’s employee agreement, created in 2007 and amended in 2009, varied from the Hospitality Award, and was not a valid one.

In early 2020, a spokesperson for Merivale told TheShout: “Merivale categorically denies that any of its employees have been required to work unreasonable additional hours against their will.

“Full time Merivale employees have been paid annualised salaries with hours averaged over 52 weeks as permitted under the enterprise agreement that applied to Merivale employees from 2007 until 2019 and in accordance with the Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2010 since the agreement was terminated by consent.

However on 30 March 2021 the Merivale case suffered a blow when Justice Thawley made orders that the Merivale Agreement was beyond power. In an Adero notice to group members, it argued that this judgment meant that the workers should have been paid according to the Award not the Merivale Agreement, from 25 December 2013 instead of from 4 March 2019.

In June 2023, Merivale and Raymond Boulos – the original claimant – entered into mediation, and have since settled the class action.

The details of the settlement remain confidential.

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