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Media Release

Employee entitlements review update

Employee entitlements review update

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) today provided its latest update on its ongoing review of entitlements for current and former employees, commenced in early 2018. This follows updates provided to employees and key stakeholders progressively since the review began.

The review has examined pay and a broad range of entitlements for current and former full time, part time and casual employees back to 2010.

To date, CBA has notified or repaid approximately 41,000 current and former employees with $13.2m of back-pay plus interest. CBA will commence payments of a further $14.9m plus interest next week. Where applicable, leave balances have been increased and additional superannuation contributions paid.

The review is substantially complete and will be finalised this financial year. CBA expects the remaining payments to be approximately $25m plus interest.

CBA Chief Executive Officer Matt Comyn said today:

“It is unacceptable that some of our people were not paid the correct entitlements. This should never have happened and I apologise to anyone impacted by these past errors. Our priority is to complete the payments with interest and, where applicable, superannuation.”

The review includes determining whether applicable entitlements have been correctly provided to employees. It also involves an assessment of earnings paid to employees compared to relevant enterprise and industry awards, using their actual work patterns.  

CBA has financially provided for the issue, having raised a provision during the 2017-18 financial year, based on best estimates.

A separate review was undertaken to ascertain accountability and a range of consequences were applied in the 2017-18 financial year.

CBA self-reported the review to the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) in February this year and has provided information to the FWO on the progress of the review. As previously disclosed, the FWO is conducting an investigation into the matter and CBA is co-operating with this process.

CBA will provide a final update following the completion of its review.

Further details of the review

In early 2018, as part of a broader program of work to strengthen controls, CBA commenced a review of employee entitlements including pay, allowances and leave for current and former full-time, part-time and casual employees of the CBA group including Bankwest.

Through this work, a range of discrepancies was identified, including both under and over-payments of salary, leave and other entitlements. The review has been comprehensive. It included over 10 million payslips, accounting for over one billion hours worked by approximately 250,000 current and former employees.

While a focus of the review has been paying people as quickly as possible, we have also implemented a new payroll system with enhanced governance and controls to ensure these errors do not happen again.

Given the scale of the review, it is being managed in stages, enabling CBA to remediate employees progressively as each stage is completed, so that people affected do not have to wait for the entire review to be finalised to receive applicable pay, with interest, and other adjustments.  

At each stage of the review, each current and former employee who is affected is provided with detailed information about their entitlements including a breakdown of their pay, interest and/or adjustments to leave balances. By the end of this year, nine stages will have been completed and the remaining four stages will be completed this financial year.

Where CBA no longer has current contact information for former employees a number of channels are used to confirm up to date account details so that payments can be made. Any current or former employee with questions about the review or their entitlements can contact CBA’s HR Direct team on 1800 989 696.