Bupa owes underpaid workers up to $75M

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Bupa will repay up to $75 million after an internal review found it had underpaid thousands of employees including its aged care staff.

The review turned up numerous deficiencies in Bupa’s internal systems and processes, which resulted in around 18,000 current and former employees being underpaid since July 2014.

According to Bupa Asia Pacific CEO Hisham El-Ansary, an internal Bupa team working alongside external advisors has reviewed 28 of the company’s enterprise agreements and modern awards.

“I am deeply sorry that we have let our people down and I am determined to ensure that we remedy this fairly for everyone who has been impacted.

“Our immediate priority is to pay those who have been underpaid, with interest and applicable superannuation, as soon as possible,” he said.

Mr El-Ansary expects the remediation process to begin in earnest as soon as March.

“We are strengthening and simplifying our internal processes and systems, including putting in place additional auditing and assurance mechanisms, to ensure we are doing all we can to prevent mistakes like this from happening again,” he said.

Impacted current and former employees are to be contacted early this year, with former employees also able to find information via Bupa’s pay review website.

Bupa is not the only provider to report underpayments last year, with Southern Cross Care, Regis and Wellways all moving to pay back staff over the course of 2021; this follows Australian Unity having to do so as well in 2020.