Australian watchdog sues CBA for underpaying staff

An workplace constructing with the Commonwealth Bank brand is seen amidst the easing of the coronavirus illness (COVID-19) restrictions within the Central Business District of Sydney, Australia, June 3, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Oct 11 (Reuters) – Australia’s office watchdog stated it has sued the nation’s largest lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA.AX) and its brokerage arm for not paying greater than 7,000 staff round A$16.4 million ($12 million) in entitlements.

The points round unpaid entitlements date again to 2010 and have been self-reported by CBA to the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) in early 2019 with remediation nearly full, the financial institution stated in an announcement.

The case in opposition to CBA comes months after the nation’s largest grocery store chain Woolworths Group (WOW.AX) was sued by the FWO for underpaying staff in a rising listing of corporations caught up in underpayment scandals.

The FWO alleges that CBA failed to verify its staff weren’t paid lower than the general minimal entitlements required and that the financial institution didn’t make top-up funds for any shortfall.

The FWO is looking for penalties of A$666,000 per severe breach and as much as A$66,600 for non-serious breaches within the civil case in opposition to the financial institution.

CBA and its brokerage arm, CommSec, have since improved their techniques and processes, the financial institution stated.

The financial institution added it might proceed to have interaction with the FWO to resolve the proceedings and that it doesn’t consider additional funds to affected staff are wanted.

($1 = 1.3661 Australian {dollars})

Reporting by Indranil Sarkar and Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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