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Qantas to pay back millions to underpaid staff

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

One worker who didn’t get payment for their on-call overtime is set to receive $141,717.66.

Qantas is paying back millions to hundreds of workers it underpaid for up to eight years, the Fair Work Ombudsman said.

The airline has so far paid back $7.1 million to 638 head office staff who were underpaid between June 2011 and June 2019.

READ MORE: How Qantas flight changes affect travel amid coronavirus crisis

The airline self-reported it had incorrectly paid some marketing and administrative staff in accordance with their individual contracts, rather than their relevant enterprise agreements that covered them, the Fair Work Ombudsman said.

A Qantas employee has been stood down after raising coronavirus fears (file photo).

As a result, they didn't receive the minimum terms of those agreements, such as overtime, minimum wages and annual leave entitlements.

Under a Court-Enforceable Undertaking, Qantas has agreed to repay all workers, with interest, and give each affected worker an additional $1,000 payment by April 24.

A spreadsheet on the Fair Work Ombudsman's website indicates most workers will receive a few thousand dollars but some will get significantly more, with one worker who didn't get payment for their on-call overtime set to receive $141,717.66.

The airline will then have to make a "contrition payment" of 5.5 per cent of the underpayments to the federal government.

The Qantas ad used real employees for the nostalgic walk through the eras.

An outside expert will then review the underpayments to make sure all employees have received what they are due.

Numerous Australian companies in the past year have reported they were not paying workers in compliance with Australia's complex labour laws, including Wesfarmers, Commonwealth Bank, Super Retail Group, Michael Hill Jewellers and the ABC.

Qantas has been contacted for comment.

Shares in the company were 15.11 per cent lower at $3.095 by 1215 AEDT on Friday as the coronavirus-driven rout of the market continues apace.

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Qantas shares have slipped 59 per cent from an all-time high of $7.46 in December, during which time it has slashed flights and frozen its chief executive's pay packet in a bid to soften the coronavirus blow.

Source: 9News

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