The scale of underpayment at Woolworths Group has blown out again, with the retailer on Wednesday revealing $70 million in additional staff underpayments, this time within its logistics business Primary Connect.
Woolworths, which has already revealed more than $600 million in underpayments over recent years, said it uncovered its latest wage theft after finishing a broad payroll review of the entire company in late 2022.
“Analysis of payroll compliance … has resulted in a further pre-tax charge of $70 million, principally related to Primary Connect, which had not previously been reviewed,” Woolworths said on Wednesday.
Corporate filings on Wednesday suggest total worker underpayments uncovered at Woolworths Group since 2019 are now worth more than $750 million – with about $276 million still yet to be repaid to its staff.
The latest revelations are bad timing for the retailer, which is preparing a Fair Work Ombudsman prosecution at the Federal Court during June.
In a statement a FWO spokesperson said Woolworths flagged “further potential non-compliance” with them before their result on Wednesday.
“The Fair Work Ombudsman’s investigation into Woolworths Group Limited is continuing,” the spokesperson said.
“With our investigation ongoing it is not appropriate to comment further at this time.”