Following an external review of our payroll system, we became aware that we had underpaid more than 500 current and former employees’ entitlements under the Social, Community, Home Care and Disability Services Industry Award 2010 between 2014 and 2020.
Staff were underpaid minimum entitlements as a result of Wellways incorrectly classifying them or failing to progress them, when eligible, from one pay-point to the next. Employees performing sleepover-shifts were underpaid overtime entitlements and night-shift penalties.
Wellways has commenced back-payments and the EU requires it to calculate and back-pay entitlements for all affected employees, plus pay superannuation and interest, by 30 June 2021. As at 21 April 2021, Wellways has back paid a total of $537,551 to 335 staff and continues to contact staff impacted by our payroll errors.
Although these are genuine errors, we unreservedly apologise. On discovering the errors we were deeply mortified and have committed not only to rectifying the current situation, but also to establishing processes to ensure this can never happen again.
In September 2020 Wellways contracted an independent audit team to assist the organisation in rectifying all underpayments and implement regular external audits to quickly identify any issues with our award interpreter software program.
Since discovering the error we have engaged regularly with staff impacted and thank them for their ongoing commitment to Wellways.
Under the Enforceable Undertaking, Wellways has agreed to engage an independent auditor to ensure our compliance with workplace laws over the next two years.
We pride ourselves on being an honest and fair employer who values our people, and this is not consistent with where we want to be. We will do everything necessary to improve our systems and processes to ensure this is never repeated.