Westpac to repay $8m to 8,000 workers

'We are putting in place measures to ensure employee long service leave is correctly calculated'

Westpac to repay $8m to 8,000 workers

Westpac has announced it will repay $8m to approximately 8,000 workers who it underpaid by incorrectly calculating their long service leave entitlements.

The bank joins major Australian companies such as Commonwealth Bank, Woolworths and the ABC, that have admitted to underpaying staff.

Westpac has advised it will be remediating current and former employees who were not paid their correct long service leave entitlements due to some calculation errors.

The errors led to underpayment and overpayment of some long service leave entitlements and were identified as part of a review of Westpac’s payroll and long service leave arrangements.

The bank estimates that it will be paying approximately $8 million in total to around 8,000 people who were underpaid their long service leave, including interest.

Westpac will not ask anyone who has been overpaid to repay any money.

Read more: Underpayment of MCG workers leads to hefty fine

Alastair Welsh, Group Executive, Enterprise Services said the bank apologises to anyone impacted by these errors and the priority is to make payments as soon as possible.

“For long service leave entitlements, different rules apply to different employees based on their employment history and work arrangements. Regrettably, our system didn’t correctly capture the right methodology every time,” said Welsh.

“We are putting in place measures to ensure employee long service leave is correctly calculated.”

Read more: Cotton On launches investigation into alleged underpayments

In some instances, the wrong rules were inadvertently applied in the payroll system which affected people’s long service leave entitlements. For example, a change in hours worked for employees over a period of time was not recognised.

“We are committed to putting things right for our people and preventing the issue from re-occurring, and we will continue to check our processes to ensure employees receive their correct entitlements,” said Welsh.

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