ABC to conduct review into underpayment of staff

By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 11 January 2019

The ABC is launching a review following an admission it underpaid around 2,500 casual staff over the past six years.

The review will look into how penalties, allowances and loadings should have been calculated and applied to those affected.

Both current and former employees potentially impacted are being notified.

The ABC has also contacted The Fair Work Ombudsman, which is working with the broadcaster on the matter.

The issue was first brought to the ABC's attention by The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU).

In an online statement, the broadcaster apologised to any staff impacted by the error and said it will work with them, the CPSU and MEAA to address their concerns.

“This error should not have occurred, and the ABC apologises to any casual employee who has been underpaid,” the ABC said.

“The ABC is actively working to remedy this for affected employees as soon as possible.”

The review will also look into its processes to address the issue for the future.

It's more bad news for the ABC after a tumultuous 2018 involving the public feud between MD Michelle Guthrie and chairman Justin Milne, both whom exited the public broadcaster.

Since her dismissal in September, Guthrie filed a lawsuit on the basis of unfair dismissal, specifically naming Milne and directors Donny Walford, Joseph Gersh and Vanessa Guthrie.

Guthrie is seeking order she be re-instated as MD, be paid penalties by both the ABC and named board members and that the ABC compensate her for losses and damages over the incident.

In response to the court proceedings, the ABC released a statement yesterday denying Guthrie's claims.

The ABC maintained Guthrie was dismissed because the board lost confidence in her, not because she made complaints.

The broadcaster also added her termination was lawful.

The ABC remains without a MD and chairperson.


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