Bunnings underpaid super – for 8 years!

You may have read this story a week ago when it first surfaced. Basically, Since 2011, Bunnings have been underpaying their staff’s super on hours worked outside their contracted hours.

First question: Super is not normally paid on irregular overtime hours?

While this is correct, in Bunnings case, as reported by the Financial Review on 26th Sept’19, a new Enterprise Agreement had taken effect from 2011. This was overseen by the employee organisation, the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), whereby the new Agreement included superannuation being paid on these overtime hours.

Second question: Why then did it take 8 years to pick up?

It was a query from the SDA that found the anomalies, but why did it take so long? I would think that new provisions in new Agreements would be monitored for some time to ensure compliance.

Third question: Did any employees notice this themselves?

While Bunnings has claimed the employees affected are only short-changed approx. $200 each, they have 40,000 employees! I am not saying all employees are affected, but is most likely a hefty bill. Something that would be easier to deal with, and keep out of the media, if it was contained early, I am sure. But it makes me wonder, out of 40,000 employees, how many picked up on the discrepancies?

It doesn’t matter if the error lies in software programming or personnel, intentional or not, it still happens. If employees were more aware of their rights, especially new ones in newly-negotiated Agreements, then they could also check these things themselves, and bring to management’s attention sooner.

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