Bupa CEO 'deeply sorry' for underpaying staff up to $75 million

About 18,000 people affected, company vows to pay them back with interest and applicable superannuation

Bupa CEO 'deeply sorry' for underpaying staff up to $75 million

Approximately 18,000 former and current employees of health insurance company Bupa have been underpaid by up to $75 million, their chief executive officer has admitted.

The revelation comes after the company discovered "instances of potential inaccuracies in its Australian payroll data," prompting them to carry out an extensive proactive review of enterprise agreements and modern awards starting July 2014.

"We now have the initial findings of the review and expect the full results in early 2022,” Bupa Asia Pacific CEO Hisham El-Ansary admitted. “Over the seven and a half years covered by the review, we estimate that the wage underpayments impact around 18,000 current and former employees and have a value of between $65 million to $75 million, excluding interest and applicable superannuation. The annual wage underpayments equate to approximately 1.3% of Bupa’s annual Australian payroll.”

According to the CEO, they have now informed the Australian workforce of the incident and is working through the impact of it on each individual.

Read more: Firm to pay more than $4.5 million to compensate underpaid workers

"I am deeply sorry that we have let our people down and I am determined to ensure that we remedy this fairly for everyone who has been impacted," he said. "We are committed to getting this right and will be able to provide more information to our people in the coming months, as we start the remediation process from March 2022."

El-Ansary added that the company's immediate priority is to compensate the affected staff, including interest and applicable superannuation, as soon as possible. Affected workers will also be contacted starting early 2022.

He also said the company is now putting in place additional auditing and assurance mechanisms in a bid to enhance its internal processes and systems to prevent similar mistakes in the future. The Fair Work Ombudsman has been informed of the initial findings, according to Bupa, and will keep them updated in its development.

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