Tue. May 17th, 2022

Woolworths will pay out about $ 50 million to former and current employees after settling a lawsuit against a supermarket giant for underpaying thousands of workers.

Adero Advokatfirma filed the class action lawsuit in November 2019 on behalf of employees of Woolworths supermarkets and workers from other Woolworths-owned chains, including Big W, Dan Murphy’s and BWS.

The supermarket giant will now make ex-gratia payments of $ 2,500 plus pension benefits to about 20,000 current and former salaried team shop members who worked in Woolworths-owned stores between January 2010 and September 2013.

The underpaid workers are expected to receive their money sometime before Christmas.

WOOLWORTHS SLAVERY
Camera iconAbout 20,000 former and current employees of Woolworths-owned companies receive a total of $ 50 million in repayments. Paul Jeffers / NCA NewsWire Credit: Corp Australia company profile

$ 50 million dollars in ex-gratia payments and retirement payments will be made on top of the final settlement of the class action lawsuit.

Woolworths has declined to disclose the final settlement at this time.

This is not the first time that the supermarket chain has been caught undercutting its staff.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is currently suing the company for allegedly paying well over 19,000 workers a total of $ 1.1 million in wages and fines.

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said the $ 50 million payments were to cover workers who were underpaid beyond the legal statute of limitations for FWO’s civil cases (before September 2013).

Dan Murphys
Camera iconFair Work Ombudsman is currently suing Woolworths for underpaid workers in Woolworths supermarkets, Dan Murphy’s, BWS and Big W. Dan Peled / NCA NewsWire Credit: Corp Australia company profile

“We initially said we would extend our review beyond our legal obligations and look back to 2010,” Banducci said Friday.

“With detailed analyzes challenging in previous years, we felt that an equal and broad-based payment to all potentially affected team members was a fair and reasonable way to intervene during this period.

“We are happy to have settled the class action lawsuit. This will ensure that our approach to complete remediation can be addressed appropriately through the FWO procedure. ”

Woolworths, Big W, Dan Murphys and BWS employees who were underpaid after September 2013 will receive their refunds when the court reaches a decision on the FWO’s $ 1.1 million case against the supermarket chain.

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