Thousands of school cleaners and gardeners are found to have been underpaid for decades due to an accounting error dating back to 1983
- About 27,000 casual school workers in Western Australia are impacted
- The department will pay out almost $5 million to casual staff
- A human resources officer discovered the hourly pay rate error
- The error dates back to 1983 but staff will only be backpaid to 1998
About 27,000 casual school workers including cleaners and gardeners will be compensated after being underpaid by Western Australia’s Department of Education.
The department will pay out almost $5 million after a human resources officer discovered an hourly pay rate error dating back to 1983.
Education Minister Sue Ellery says about half of the employees were underpaid by less than $100 and 91 per cent by less than $500.
The compensation payments will be dated back to 1998.
The department will pay out almost $5 million to school cleaners, gardeners and other casual staff after a human resources officer discovered an hourly pay rate error dating back to 1983
‘This historic underpayment to casual cleaners, gardeners and home economics assistants is highly regrettable,’ Ms Ellery said in a statement.
‘While the department is only required by law to back pay for the past six years, I have instructed that the back payment must extend to 21 years because that is the right thing to do for these staff who have worked in good faith.’
Ms Ellery said the $4.9 million error stemmed from the employees’ standard working week being reduced from 40 hours to 38 hours.
The department’s system was not updated to reflect the change, meaning employees were underpaid 24 minutes for each full day worked.
More than 7000 current staff will receive their compensation on Christmas Eve but former workers won’t be paid until February.