A month-long review has found that Woolworths has underpaid 5,700 of its’ staff by up to $300 million over the past decade.
Yesterday Woolworths Group released a statement admitting to the system failure.
“We unreservedly apologise,” said the company’s CEO, Brad Banducci.
“As a business we pride ourselves on putting our team first, and in this case we have let them down.
“The highest priority for Woolworths Group right now is to address this issue, and to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”
Hi Daniel, we’re committed to making this right and will pay all entitlements owed to our team in full. Fixing this is the highest priority for the Woolworths Group right now, along with ensuring that it doesn’t happen again. Thanks.
— Woolworths (@woolworths) October 30, 2019
The affected employees are believed to be Woolworths supermarket and Metro store team members.
The Fair Work Ombudsman expressed her shock at the findings.
“Lately, we are seeing a disturbing number of large corporates publicly admitting that they have underpaid their staff,” Sandra Parker said.
“Some of these matters go back many years and several comprise millions of dollars owed to workers. This is simply not good enough.”
Although it seemed to be lost under all the negative publicity, Woolworths also released its first quarter sales update, in which it recorded a 7.1 per cent increase on the same period last year.
“It has been a pleasing start to F20 with strong sales momentum across the group,” Mr Banducci said.
Factors relating to the companies growth include the Lion King Ooshies campaign, which boasted great success over the Little Shop 2 promotion run by Coles.
Woolworths also recorded 43.2 per cent growth in online sales from the previous year’s quarter.
Comparatively, Coles recorded a sales increase of 1.8 per cent, its 48th consecutive quarter of comparable sales growth.