Lowest level ABC staff have been underpaid since 2014

Some ABC staff in the entry level Band 1 employment category have been underpaid for years, according the results of an internal salary audit.

The national broadcaster has apologised for the error and will pay back the amounts owed, plus interest and entitlements.

When the underpayment came to light earlier this year the ABC voluntarily dobbed itself in to the Fair Work Ombudsman and began a review to rectify the situation, which was completed this week. Current and former employees who were engaged on a buyout or on a Band 1 classification, from 14 July 2014 to 20 June 2021 are affected.

Under a buyout, employees are paid a loading in lieu of overtime, penalties, allowances and other entitlements provided by the ABC Enterprise Agreement. However, the review has found that in many cases people were inadvertently paid less than they were entitled to.

Separately, the review found that underpayments also occurred when an employee was incorrectly classified or remained at Band 1, which is only appropriate for an entry-level employee with no prior experience.

During the review the ABC also identified staff who were underpaid a meal allowance compensation entitlement.

The ABC will start paying what is owed after a period of consultation with affected individuals.

The ABC will “carefully monitor” such arrangements in future to ensure employees are not paid less than they would be under the terms and conditions of the Enterprise Agreement and will implement a new record keeping, leave management and rostering system to improve its compliance with employee payment requirements.