Wesfarmers Industrial & Safety team members to be back paid

A payroll review by the Wesfarmers Industrial & Safety business (WIS) has identified errors in the payment of team members at Blackwoods, Workwear Group, Coregas and Greencap, prompting a comprehensive remediation process.

Wesfarmers Industrials Managing Director David Baxby said significant resources had been dedicated to resolving and remedying all underpayments with the priority of fully compensating all affected team members as quickly as possible.

PwC was engaged to assist in conducting a review of the nature and extent of underpayments to team members after anomalies were identified during testing of a new payroll system.

“These were inadvertent errors but they are deeply regrettable and we apologise sincerely and unreservedly to our team members who have been affected over a number of years,” Mr Baxby said. “Our priority is to back pay all affected team members as quickly as possible, including interest, to ensure affected team members are fully compensated. We are also investing heavily in our payroll system, processes and capabilities to fix this issue and ensure it cannot happen again.”

WIS is working with PwC to complete a full reconciliation to identify individual team members who are affected, and they will be advised directly as soon as possible. The errors relate to certain allowances and entitlements and superannuation mostly related to car allowances.

While WIS is still working through data validation to verify the issues and which team members are affected, a preliminary estimate of the total amount unpaid since 2010, including interest, is approximately $15 million, of which almost half relates to superannuation on loadings and allowances. This total equates to less than 1 per cent of WIS’ total payroll for the period. These underpayments are estimated to affect approximately 2,000 current team members and 4,000 former team members. Team members outside Australia are not affected. The final numbers may change as the data validation is completed.

WIS has self-reported the non-compliance to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Current and former team members may contact the dedicated Support Centre on 1800 314 579 or TeamMemberSupport@wisau.com.au.