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Woolworths, one of Australia’s prominent supermarket chains, is currently embroiled in a legal battle due to underpayment issues involving former Victorian employees. The company recently admitted to underpaying at least 1235 employees a total of $124 million between November 2018 and January 2023. This revelation comes after discrepancies were discovered in their audit and IT systems.

The outgoing CEO, Brad Banducci, faced scrutiny in a Senate inquiry regarding supermarket price gouging and threatened consequences for non-compliance. The Melbourne Magistrates Court uncovered that Woolworths’ related company breached Victoria’s Long Service Leave Act on 1227 occasions. Despite the potential for a hefty fine exceeding $1 billion, Woolworths is realistically facing a capped penalty of around $480,000 in Victorian magistrates courts.

This is not the first time Woolworths has faced underpayment issues, having previously admitted to underpaying over 5700 salaried staff by an excess of $300 million. The Fair Work Ombudsman and class action litigants have also initiated legal actions against Woolworths and its competitor Coles in the Federal Court. Woolworths is now under intense scrutiny for its handling of employee entitlements and faces significant legal repercussions as a result.


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Article Title: Woolworths admits to underpaying staff by $1.24m, could face a hefty fine
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