Westpac will need to pay $8 million in long service leave dues and interest to about 8000 staff. Image by Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS

Financial Services

Westpac finds underpayments to 8000 staff

2020-07-04 13:51:10

Westpac says it has discovered incorrect payments of long service leave to some staff due to calculation errors. 

As a result, Australia’s second-largest lender will pay around $8 million in total, including interest, to around 8,000 people who were underpaid their long service leave. 

Others who have been overpaid will not be asked repay any money, it said.

The bank said the errors were identified as part of a review of Westpac’s payroll and long service leave arrangements.

It said different long service leave entitlement rules applied to different employees based on their employment history and work arrangements and its payroll system didn’t correctly capture the right methodology every time.

“We apologise to anyone impacted by these errors and our priority is to make payments as soon as possible,” Group Executive for Enterprise Services Alastair Welsh said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

“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,” he added.

Westpac is the latest major company to investigate staff underpayments.

In June, National Australia Bank announced it had found underpayments to about 1500 employees and would pay $1.3 million, including superannuation and interest, as compensation.

Other companies that have had to pay back millions of dollars to staff in recent months include Qantas, Woolworths, Wesfarmers and Super Retail, with wage scandals particularly engulfing the hospitality and retail sectors.