The Finance Department has reported itself to the Fair Work Ombudsman after it was revealed parliamentary staff were underpaid over four years.
The Finance Department has reported itself to the Fair Work Ombudsman after it was revealed parliamentary staff were underpaid over four years.

Parliament hit by underpayment scandal

At least 60 parliamentary employees have been underpaid over a four-year period.

The Department of Finance has reported itself to the Fair Work Ombudsman and says it is working "as quickly as possible" to repay the staff.

Staff were contacted on Wednesday night informing them workers across two pay levels had not been paid an award they were entitled to.

"We are auditing the pay of all EOA-01 and EOA-02 staff employed during the relevant periods over the past four years, including former employees," the email read.

"We have engaged KPMG to verify our proposed approach and to certify all payments to staff are correct.

"We expect this audit will be completed and back pay will be made to all affected staff by the end of the current financial year."

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham says the department took ‘swift and appropriate’ steps to pay the money back. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham says the department took ‘swift and appropriate’ steps to pay the money back. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage

In a statement to NCA NewsWire on Thursday, the department confirmed about 60 staff were affected.

It did not yet know how much money was owed.

"Finance has commenced an audit which will examine payroll records to verify the number of former employees affected and determine monies owed," it said.

"Finance identified the issue and has self-reported this issue to the Fair Work Ombudsman."

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said the department had taken "swift and appropriate" measures to repay the money.

"Any underpayment is unacceptable and should be rectified as soon as it is identified," he said.

It is unclear when the department became aware of the underpayments.

"The issue arose due to the interaction between the Australian Government Industry Award 2016 and the Commonwealth Members of Parliament Staff Enterprise Agreement 2016-2019 in relation to Electorate Office A employees," it said.

Originally published as Parliament hit by underpayment scandal



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