ABC pays $12 million to over 1,900 underpaid staffers
The ABC has back-paid over $12 million to over 1,900 current and former casual workers and entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman.
The underpayments were first brought to the ABC’s attention by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) and range from $7 to $180,000.
An investigation was launched after the ABC reported it had found instances where casual employees failed to receive entitlements under its enterprise agreements.
Fair Work Inspectors identified that some casual staff were receiving flat rates of pay insufficient to cover entitlements including overtime, penalty rates and some allowances.
In some cases, affected employees were paid less than the minimum hourly rate mostly between October 2012 and February 2019.
“Under the Enforceable Undertaking, the ABC has committed to improving workplace practices across its whole workforce and will invest significantly in improved systems and processes, which will benefit its current and future employees,” says Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker.
The publically-funded broadcaster has paid affected workers 5.25% interest on back-payments, superannuation, and 5.25% interest on superannuation.
An ABC spokesperson confirmed the broadcaster had signed an enforceable undertaking with the and again apologised to affected staff for an unintentional error.
In recognition of the seriousness of its contraventions, the ABC will also make a contrition payment of $600,000.
“A contrition payment will be made as a result of the negotiations with the Fair Work Ombudsman,” the spokesperson said.
“This payment has been budgeted in the current financial year and will have no impact on the requirement to find ongoing savings.”