An open letter to our customers
At LUSH we see our staff and customers as a team, because together they are the chemistry that makes Lush the thriving, vibrant company it is. We have discovered a problem here at Lush that has affected our staff, and as you are such important partners in their job, we want you to be amongst the first to know.
We are sorry to say that we have unearthed evidence that we have not correctly calculated staff payments accurately according to Modern Awards. This means some staff have been underpaid at times.
It has taken months of investigations to get to the bottom of the problems, during which we called in external payroll experts as well as the National Retail Association to help us, but that process is now finished and we feel we have a full picture of the problems and have identified all the areas in which we made mistakes. The next step is calculating the individual amounts and paying back each member of staff the money they are owed, which will be paid with interest added and with superannuation payments, where relevant, to ensure that staff get every cent they are owed and are not left out of pocket by our mistakes. We have also commissioned a new automated payroll system, which we began to roll out at the beginning of July, in order to ensure that no future mistakes are made.
The pay mistakes were not related to the Sunday higher penalty rates, which have been, and still are, being paid at the higher rate. Instead it was to do with intricacies relating to the Modern Awards where our outdated system was not sophisticated enough to interpret and correctly calculate some rates, for example where shifts were worked without a 12 hour break in between and when staff did not have two consecutive days off, etc. In order to correct this, we are paying a specialist payroll company to enter 200,000 historic handwritten timesheets onto a new payroll system to re-run the last 8 years of payroll, so that each member of staff can see, and challenge, the recalculation of their wages and back pay totals.
This was a dreadful shortcoming for which we apologise unreservedly, not just to our staff, but also to our customers and the wider community. We believe that businesses should play by the rules, pay fair wages, contribute full corporate taxes to the countries they operate in and should be good citizens. It is for these reasons we want to publicly own our mistakes and be fully transparent in our actions to put them right. We have reported ourselves to the Fair Work Ombudsman and relevant Government departments, have alerted the Unions and made an announcement to the press.
We have said sorry to our staff and assured them that we would never knowingly under pay them, or sweep the issue under the carpet once identified . We hope they can forgive us and continue to feel proud of the company they have helped build. To you, our customers, we also wish to say sorry and we hope that in the future you can continue to trust us as we constantly strive to make Lush the best it can possibly be.
If you wish to know more details regarding this issue, please get in contact through one of the relevant forms or click here for more information.