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Articles from FASHION JEWELLERY (276 Articles)

Retail workers said they were forced to purchase jewellery items to wear at work
Retail workers said they were forced to purchase jewellery items to wear at work
 









Jewellery chains under fire

A number of jewellery chain stores may be breaking the law by forcing staff to purchase jewellery items that must be worn while working on the shop floor. 

The news comes after employees at retail outlets Diva and Lovisa claim that they were pressured into spending a significant portion of their salary keeping up to date with the store’s latest jewellery ranges. 

The aim is for staff to promote the store’s offering by actively wearing new product at work, however such practices may be a breach of the Fair Work Act. 

Under the Act, if an employer requires its staff to wear "special" items it must either provide the items or reimburse the cost of purchasing the pieces to the employee. Compensation cannot be made through staff discounts. 

Commenting on the issue, Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Michael Campbell told Jeweller: “It is not appropriate for employers to force staff to buy specific clothing or jewellery from their store to wear to work unless they pay for them or reimburse them.”

Acting Fair Work Ombudsman, Michael Campbell
Acting Fair Work Ombudsman, Michael Campbell
An unnamed staff member from fashion jeweller Diva explained to news.com.au that employees had to wear at least five pieces of jewellery at all times. "But also we're not allowed to wear any sale items, only full price items. If something goes on sale or is marked down or reduced we can't wear it anymore," she is reported to have said.

"If you showed up for work without any jewellery and you didn't buy any I'm sure they'd send you home. You have to look a certain way to be in the store and sell the stuff."

While Diva global CEO Michelle Kluz was said to have denied that staff were required to wear five pieces of jewellery at work, the Diva employee intranet states: "Always wear 5 to keep diva alive!!! Five current diva pieces are to be worn instore [sic] at all times to excite and delight our customers."

An employee at jewellery chain Lovisa, which is owned by BB Retail Capital, the same parent company as Diva, told news.com.au that she would be reimbursed for all the jewellery she had bought while working for the retailer only after complaining to the company’s CEO. It was calculated that she had spent 64 per cent of her earnings on jewellery, even with a 50 per cent staff discount.

A worker’s right
According to Campbell, “Even if an employee agrees to the specific terms set out by their employer, such as being paid below the minimum wage set out in the award or not receiving reimbursement for clothing and accessories they were asked to buy for work, it doesn’t make it lawful.

“Employers cannot put a requirement on a worker that is actually one of their responsibilities, such as paying for clothing or accessories if it is a requirement of the workplace.”

He said that the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website had a range of resources designed to help employers better understand their obligations under workplace law. 

Workers on the other hand have been advised to raise claims to the Fair Work Ombudsman. Employees have six years to lodge a complaint.

The Lovisa employee is pushing for a change to staff contracts and encouraging colleagues also to raise their own complaints. 

Diva operates more than 570 stores in 20 countries throughout Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Asia and South Africa. Lovisa has more than 180 stores in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Malaysia and Singapore.

Attempts made by Jeweller to contact both jewellery chains for comment went unanswered. 

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Monday, 27 January, 2020 02:43am
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