ABC pays back $12 million to underpaid staff

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 19 June 2020

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has back-paid $11.9 million to more than 1,800 current and former casual staff and entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Underpayments, first brought to the ABC's attention by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), ranged from $7 to $180,000.

An investigation was launched after the ABC reported it had found instances where casual employees had not received 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, and in some cases employees were paid less than the minimum hourly rate.

The broadcaster has paid affected workers 5.25% interest on back-payments, superannuation, and 5.25% interest on superannuation.

“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.

In recognition of the seriousness of its contraventions, the ABC will also make a contrition payment of $600,000. 

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