Fair Work Ombudsman recovers $16 million for thousands of workers, including in the Hunter

An investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered $16 million for more than 13,000 employees at Australia’s largest car dealership, a number of them here in the Hunter.

In 2019, Eagers Automotive bought out the Automotive Holdings Group, which operated 19 businesses in Newcastle, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

When the new owners reviewed the books they found staff had been underpaid between 2013 and 2021, and self-reported the discovery to the regulator.

The Ombudsman found workplace law breaches, including failure to pay in-line with award progression, incorrectly classifying employees, making unauthorised deductions, not paying overtime, annual leave and leave loading.

Off the back of that, five of Eagers’ subsidiaries are now subject to an Enforceable Undertaking with Fair Work, resulting in the recovery of $12 million in wages, $1 million in super and $3 million in interest.