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Qantas Airways to backpay underpaid staff
[BENGALURU] An Australian industrial regulator on Friday said the country's biggest airline Qantas Airways had agreed to backpay its staff millions of dollars after self-reporting non-compliance with employment contracts.
Qantas had made a court-enforceable undertaking to make the payments, the Fair Work Ombudsman said in a statement.
The airline's pledge comes as underpayments scandals affect several of the country's biggest companies including retailers Woolworths and Coles Group and top lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia among others.
The federal government has said it would introduce laws that criminalised what it called "wage theft", as well as banning people from being company directors if they preside over underpayment.
The regulator said Qantas had already backpaid A$7.1 million to 638 employees who were underpaid between June 2011 and June 2019, including head office staff in corporate and administration roles.
The enforceable undertaking "creates a robust process where an independent expert will verify that employee back payments are correctly calculated and paid by Qantas", the Fair Work Ombudsman said.
"Three further pay audits will also be conducted by an independent auditor, which will benefit Qantas' current and future employees."