Bunnings forked out over $6 million to 40,000 staff who were underpaid superannuation

  • Bunnings has revealed its bill for underpaying over 40,000 staff, and it clocks in at $6.1 million.
  • Bunnings workers were not paid the correct superannuation thanks to what the company describes as a payroll error.
  • The average underpayment per team member was $95.33.
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Hardware chain Bunnings has paid over $6 million to tens of thousands of workers with unpaid superannuation entitlements, and the company says it is “confident” the problem has been rectified and will not happen again.

Bunnings admitted in late September it had not paid the correct superannuation entitlements to a number of its employees since 2011.

In an email to Business Insider Australia, Bunnings outlined the extent of the underpayment problem: 40,890 team members were affected, of which 23,088 are still employed with the company. Excluding compensation, the company paid more tham $3.8 million to affected employees.

With the application of compound interest, that figure increases to $6.1 million.

“We have chosen to use compound interest as this results in a higher payment and is more consistent with how superannuation earnings are accrued,” a spokesperson told Business Insider Australia.

The company says the final compensation figure, including the money owed and compensation, was “independently verified by PricewaterhouseCoopers”.

“We have apologised again to our team and as previously mentioned we are confident that the error has now been rectified,” the Bunnings spokesperson said.

The Bunnings case comes amid a series of underpayment scandals which have dominated headlines in recent months.

In October, Woolworths admitted it had underpaid almost 6,000 staff by as much as $300 million.

The hospitality industry has also seen its share of scandal, with a series of celebrity chef restaurants pinged for not paying staff in accordance with the award.

In response to recent high-profile cases, unions have called for multimillion dollar fines and jail terms for the most serious incidences of underpayment.