Finance Work Super Retail Group adds its name to ‘wage theft’ shame file

Super Retail Group adds its name to ‘wage theft’ shame file

super retail group wages
Super Retail Group says it owes many more millions to workers than it first identified. Photo: AAP
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The company behind Rebel Sport, Supercheap Auto, BCF, and Macpac is the latest in a string of Australian brand names to admit it owes staff millions in unpaid wages – on top of $53.2 million it has already declared.

Super Retail Group, which has a stable of high street brands, reported its half-year annual results on Thursday, acknowledging it had added another $8 million to the sum it has previously said it owes workers.

The Queensland company’s net profit for the six months shrank by 20 per cent to $57.4 million, despite modest revenue growth in the face of drought and bushfires.

Its revenue was up 2.9 per cent to $1.44 billion.

The group first revealed its underpayment of 10 per cent of its staff in its results for the same six month-period in 2019.

It has since updated its total estimate for staff back-pay from $53.2 million as at December 2018 to $61.2 million as at December 28, 2019, excluding execution costs.

Super Retail Group’s admissions are the latest in a week  announcements from many of Australia’s biggest brands that they owe millions to their workers. Among them are Coles, Target and Officeworks – who join a cluster of big-name chains and celebrity chefs to be caught out underpaying staff.

Many of the most recent admissions come after the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association – the union that represents retail workers – asked the big chains to audit their payrolls. That request followed Woolworths’ admission in 2019 that it owed $300 million to 5700 staff.

The SDA has called the increasing number of admissions of wage rip-offs “a full-blown epidemic”. National secretary Gerard Dwyer said he expected many more cases to emerge in coming months.

Super Retail Group said that while the total amount of money it owed retail managers and set-up employees was less than it initially estimated, it had identified additional staff who were also affected.

-with AAP

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