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Woolworths Faces Allegations Of Failing To Pay $1 Million In Long Service Leave

Woolworth has faced over 1,000 charges as the regulator Wage Inspectorate Victoria alleging the company failed to pay over $1 million in long service leave to 1,235 former employees.

The supermarket giant allegedly contravened the Victoria’s Long Service Leave Act 2018 by failing to pay more than $960,000 in long service leave entitlements between 2018 and 2021.

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The alleged underpayments to 1,235 former employees ranged from $250 to more than $12,000.

During the same period, the company is also alleged to have contravened the law by failing to pay more than $45,000 in long service entitlements to 36 former employees.

Under Victorian law, employees who have worked continuously with one employer for at least seven days are entitled to take their long service leave and be paid any unused long service leave entitlements when their employment ends. 

A Woolworths spokesperson said the company self-reported the issue to Wage Inspector Victoria in February last year. 

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“We have since made back-payments or corrected leave balances to affected team members, including interest and superannuation,” the spokesperson said.

“We have apologised to affected team members and strengthened our payroll systems to address the long service leave issues we identified.”

Robert Hortle, Commissioner of Wage Inspectorate Victoria, said long service leave is a “long standing, valued workplace entitlement in Victoria”.

“Victorians expect businesses with significant payroll resources to get this stuff right. They’d be disappointed to see a household name facing underpayment allegations,” Mr Hortle said.

He said it would be hard to put a value on the leave workers were initially denied. 

“Wage Inspectorate is here to ensure it is paid when it is owed.”

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