by Joyce Moullakis Sarah Thompson Macquarie Group will be forced to defend the structure of employment contracts in its private wealth unit for the second time in as many years, after a group of 15 former advisers hit the bank with legal action.A statement of claim, obtained by AFR Weekend and lodged with the Federal Circuit Court of Australia this week, alleges a string of breaches of the Fair Work Act by Macquarie’s banking division.The potential breaches relate to claims of underpaying advisers’ entitlements spanning their annual leave, public holidays, leave loading and compassionate and carer’s leave.The group of former private client advisers claims Macquarie failed to comply with National Employment Standards and the modern award covering the banking, finance and insurance industry. The John Wardman-led group is seeking to be reimbursed for total underpayments of $2.6 million plus interest, penalties and legal costs and also wants Macquarie to be issued with pecuniary fines. Advertisement The action comes amid heightened scrutiny of the financial services sector as explosive claims of poor advice and misdeeds were raised at the Hayne royal commission and as the competition regulator pursues a group of bankers and their employers for alleged criminal cartel conduct in court.The underpayment case may also have wider… Read full this story
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