Media response: FWO issues Enforceable Undertaking (EU)


Paul Sadler Swimland accepts the findings of the Fair Work Ombudsman in relation to its recent employment payment issue, and has proactively introduced a number of commitments outlined in the Enforceable Undertaking (EU) issued today.

We have repaid all current and former employees (that we have been able to contact) who have been impacted. We are still to repay some past employees that we have not been able to contact. We are encouraged by the FWO’s comments regarding our cooperative approach.

After self-reporting the issue in October 2016, Paul Sadler Swimland has kept the FWO regularly informed of its progress in repaying affected staff members and taken steps to ensure this mistake doesn’t happen again.

We have apologised to employees and addressed manual processes and human error that resulted in a number of staff being underpaid and some staff being overpaid between 2010 and 2016. We have not attempted to recover any overpayments.

Following an external professional audit of payroll practices, Paul Sadler Swimland implemented an automated payroll system, rostering system, staff training and governance measures to ensure all of our employees are being paid correctly and according to agreed entitlements.

Paul Sadler Swimland COO Mark Cecil, again acknowledged the mistake and apologised to all staff impacted.

“We always want to do what’s right, but acknowledge that on this occasion we could have done better, and we accept the determination of the Fair Work Ombudsman,” Mr Cecil said.

“We’ve taken this matter very seriously and have worked closely with the FWO over the past twelve months. We appreciate their guidance and recognise their decision is a fair one.

“We respect and value our people and are sorry for the impact this has had on them. We are an organisation that believes in treating employees fairly and the correct payments have now been made to all staff affected who we have been able to contact.

“We thank all our staff for their understanding, patience and assistance in sorting this out.

“We have made efforts to contact all impacted former employees with letters, emails and telephone calls and have also used social media to track people down so we can repay the money owed.

“Remaining funds will be held in trust and we urge any former employee who has not heard from us to contact the company.

“We have invested in installing a new fully automated system for roster, payroll and employee management to ensure this mistake doesn’t happen again.

“We have also developed a new Enterprise Agreement in consultation with staff, which received a positive vote from 99.9% of staff who voted.

“Paul Sadler Swimland is committed to providing our respected and passionate staff with the financial reward, career flexibility and training opportunities for all roles so that as our employees they can continue to deliver a safe environment for thousands of babies, children and adults to learn to swim,” he said.

Former employees who believe they have been underpaid are encouraged to contact Paul Sadler Swimland via email:

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Why Swimland?

What is a Deck Supervisor?

Deck Supervisors are the super friendly staff in the red shirts on pool deck. They are there to answer any questions you have about your swimmer‘s progress or about our program and to support our teachers to provide great lessons. They love to talk swimming, so please go and see them if you have any queries.

Why do we use teaching aids?

There are many ways to teach children about safety in water. Our approach, using flotation as a teaching aid, has produced excellent results.

It is proven that low stress levels increase coordination, so at Swimland, we encourage low stress with the use of teaching aids (floaties, back bubbles, kickboards, noodles etc). As a child becomes more confident, and therefore less stressed, we reduce the amount of teaching aids the child uses. We have also found that swimmers who are less stressed progress faster.

Our swimmers still have plenty of aid-free time, and we practise safety circles to teach the children how to swim back to the edge of the pool without help in case they were to fall in.

How often should my child come to swimming lessons?

Coming to swimming lessons once a week, on a year round basis, is awesome for swimmer progress. Swimming every week, all year round, will see your child really develop and get the most out of the fun programs we offer.


How long does it take to learn to swim?

On average, it takes around 20 lessons to achieve the next certificate, but sometimes it can take a little longer. Every child is different, and it’s important for parents to remember that some skills will come easily to their child while others will be a little more challenging.

If your swimmer has been at the same level for a while or is finding a skill a little difficult, our Deck Supervisor will talk to you about some strategies to help them move forward and will be working with your teacher to ensure your swimmer continues to progress. At Swimland, we will always offer extra support to those who need it.

How do I contact my child’s teacher?

Our Deck Supervisors constantly monitor the progress of all children participating in lessons. They are a great resource for parents who want regular updates, as they have the experience and, importantly, the time to answer any questions you may have. The Deck supervisor can also chat with the teacher about any specific queries you may have and get back to you with the answer.

What should I bring to swimming lessons?

We provide all of the equipment and teaching aids you and your child need to have a great, fun lesson. All you need to bring is bathers, a towel and goggles for swimmers at Maxi-Pink level or above

Little ones under three should also wear either a swim nappy or swim wear that is firm fitting around the legs.