Australia: Spotless discloses underpayment of workers, sets aside under $4 million in backpay

Author: David Marin-Guzman, Financial Review, Published on: 26 February 2020

"Spotless underpaid workers $4m", 21 February 202

Spotless has disclosed that it has underpaid thousands of workers millions of dollars over several years.

Parent company Downer has disclosed the cleaning and catering subsidiary had set aside just under $4 million in backpay as part of an ongoing, six-year review into underpayments across its workforce.

To date, Spotless has paid out $2 million to almost 2000 current and former employees plus an additional $1.5 million in superannuation, interest and pay-as-you-go tax.

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Five causes of underpayments have so far been identified and rectified.

"A number of issues relate to the interpretation and application of some clauses by our payroll systems which have meant some of our employee workforce were not receiving the correct pay," a spokeswoman said.

"It does not relate to our independent contractors."

A spokeswoman said the quantum of overpayments could not be determined and the company's primary focus was "to remediate any wage shortfall".

Downer chief executive Grant Fenn said...it had taken the company "quite a bit of a time to get where we got to".

"We have been going through a review for quite some time now. It's been primarily directed in Spotless. Spotless has got a lot of employees, so we'll be proactive on this."

The company has informed the Fair Work Ombudsman.

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Related companies: Downer Group Spotless