CBA to pay back staff $53m in botched pay with 41,000 affected

Commonwealth Bank expects to pay back of total of $53.1 million to tens of thousands of staff who were underpaid wages or other entitlements due to errors in the bank’s systems.

CBA, which has been reviewing its records for underpayment since early last year and has already made some of these reimbursements, on Friday revealed the total amount that it expected to pay back to current and former bank staff.

CBA chief executive Matt Comyn said the underpayment of staff was "unacceptable."
CBA chief executive Matt Comyn said the underpayment of staff was “unacceptable.”Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

The payments will go to 41,000 people, of whom about 60 per cent still work at the bank, while the remainder are no longer CBA employees.

The total figure of $53.1 million includes $13.2 million in backpay that the bank has already paid to employees, an issue that was reported earlier this year.


The underpayments were caused by errors in the banks’ systems, including those relating to its payroll and other human resources systems.

On Friday, CBA said it would also start making a further $14.9 million in repayments next week, and it expected a further $25 million, plus interest, to be repaid to current and former by the end of June next year.

“It is unacceptable that some of our people were not paid the correct entitlements. This should never have happened and I apologise to anyone impacted by these past errors,” chief executive Matt Comyn said.

“Our priority is to complete the payments with interest and, where applicable, superannuation.”

The cost of CBA’s underpayment has increased as the bank has widened its investigation into the issue, including a review of past entitlements including wages, leave balances, overtime and superannuation.

As part of the investigation, the bank has examined the records of 250,000 current and former staff, going back to 2010, and in some cases, as far as 2002. The review included looking through 10 million payslips of a range of staff, including frontline workers and people its in head office.

The average reimbursement is about $220 per employee per year for which they were underpaid.

CBA said it had self-reported its review to the Fair Work Ombudsman and the watchdog was conducting its own investigation into the matter.

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