Christmas has come early for more than 40,000 current and former Bunnings employees after the DIY retailer prepares to pay out $6 million in superannuation payments for extra hours worked.
According to Inside Retail, the underpayments, from 2011 onwards, affected part-time warehouse and small-format employees who worked above their contracted hours.
The payroll error totalled $3.8 million excluding compensation.
“An error in the payment system’s code resulted in these employees not receiving superannuation payments for extra hours worked. The average compensation for each team member landed at $95.33,” Inside Retail wrote on its website.
Nine newspapers reported a total of 40,890 workers were affected, and with compensation included, the total compensation amount increased to $6.1 million.
Bunnings’ HR director Jacqui Coombes has previously said the business is “very sorry” for the mistake.
“We understand the importance of ensuring our team members are paid everything they are entitled to in full and on time – in this case, whilst inadvertent, we haven’t, and we are very sorry for that,” Ms Coombes said.
Inside Retail reported the homewares and trade giant’ repayment was independently verified by PricewaterCoopers, and the business is confident the error has now been rectified to ensure it won’t happen again.
NSW Labor Leader Jodie McKay reacted to the news on social media on Friday.
“Another big business – another household name – underpaying its workers.
“NSW Labor will prioritise this in government with the nation’s toughest wage theft laws.
“It’s pretty simple. Pay your staff,” she wrote.
Meanwhile, the Fair Work Ombudsman has revealed national parcel delivery company Couriers Please underpaid staff $382,065 over eight years for failing to provide 20-minute meal breaks to 245 current and former employees.
The Ombudsman’s office found the freight-handling and depot staff –located across NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia – were entitled to the paid break.
“Couriers Please has admitted to breaching workplace laws, which first occurred when it implemented an electronic payroll system in 2010 until the issue was identified last year.
“More than $360,000 has been back-paid with individual amounts ranging from less than $10 to more than $19,000. The outstanding amounts relate to employees yet to be located.
Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said “this matter serves as a warning to all employers that if you don’t prioritise workplace compliance, you risk failing to meet your lawful obligations to your employees every shift they work over many years, and facing a hefty back-payment bill”.