By Andrew Starke
ClubsNSW has contacted the Attorney General’s office requesting evidence to support the Minister’s claims that clubs have underpaid staff over the past four years by $5.24 million.
The organisation said despite concerns about some club staff being allegedly underpaid; it has had absolutely no contact from the NSW Office of Industrial Relations since March 2006 regarding this issue.
ClubsNSW believes underpayments claimed by Minister Hatzistergos have in fact been committed by contract catering, cleaning, green keeping and security companies.
These businesses operate independently of the club, have no association with ClubsNSW and engage their own employees.
ClubsNSW CEO David Costello said the Minister’s office has today been unable to clarify who the Minister was referring to when he used the term ‘club workers’.
“I expect that the Minister is referring to those people who are employed by a private business to undertake some work inside the club,” he said.
“It is highly misleading to label these contracted employees as ‘club workers’, and possibly explains why the Minister over-estimated the workforce of the club industry by more than 16 percent.
“If an electrician repaired a light in the Minister’s office and that electrician subsequently underpaid his apprentice, I doubt the Minister would hold himself liable for the electrician’s error.
“Similarly clubs should not be blamed for any mistakes, albeit them largely unintentionally, of businesses who have been contracted by the club to undertake a service.
“ClubsNSW has not been required to defend any prosecution of a registered club for underpaying staff entitlements.”