Woolworths Worker Underpayments Sparks Call For Payroll Audits

In the aftermath of Woolworths admission that it has underpaid nearly 6000 workers an estimated $300 million, company boards are being urged to take a greater interest in ensuring payroll compliance audits are being carried out by qualified personnel. 

In an article written by Anna Patty of The Sydney Morning Herald, October 31,2019, Tracy Angwin, chief executive of the Australian Payroll Association is quoted as saying “We are seeing a trend of boards of directors starting to look at payroll as an area of risk. But it’s probably not happening fast enough and we will see many ore of these stories in the coming months.”

She also makes the points out “The problem is that, if a big employer like Woolworths can’t get it right, the chances that someone who is working at the checkout or as a manager [getting it right] are low because of the complexity of the award.

So many things contribute to underpayment that it is almost impossible for a worker to work it out themselves.” 

In the same article, Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter states “Large sophisticated organisations including Woolworths and other companies that have admitted underpaying workers “need to have systems in place to prevent this happening again”. “There are no valid reasons for failing to meet their legal obligations,” he said.  Access the full article here.