Western Power back payments commence

Transmission tower and high-voltage lines (projects)
A transmission tower (Image: Shutterstock)

Western Power has commenced back payments to a group of current employees who were unintentionally underpaid during their employment.

In 2019 Western Power identified an error in the way it had applied the ‘better off overall’ test performed on the employment terms of individuals on Individual Agreements (IA) or Flexibility Agreements (FA) against the underpinning conditions of the Australian Services Union Enterprise Agreement (ASU EA). Impacted employees were advised of the error.

The back payments at this time include rectifying pay point progression entitlements, superannuation and associated interest. Amounts vary for each impacted employee depending on their individual circumstances.

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Western Power is assessing back payments for former employees who operated under IAs and FAs during the same period. Former employees with identified underpayments to date are being contacted to ensure Western Power has their details to make payment when the review is finalised, expected by the end of September 2020.

As this is a complex matter, Western Power will continue to assess all varied terms under the IAs and FAs against the ASU EA to ensure the ‘better off overall’ test was correctly applied for all relevant current and former employees, until such time that all back payments have been made in full. We have engaged an independent third-party consultancy to assist us.

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Following a query from the ASU, the unintentional underpayment issue was identified and self-reported by Western Power to the Fair Work Ombudsman in August 2019, and has been the subject of a comprehensive review.

We have continued to liaise with the Fair Work Ombudsman. We have also held several briefings with the ASU and we thank them for their input.

Western Power apologises to its current and former employees impacted by the unintentional underpayments.

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