Proactive pay compliance review identifies employee underpayments


Bupa today announced it has identified underpayments of employee entitlements affecting some current and former employees, following an extensive proactive pay compliance review.

The initial findings from the review identified underpayments, as well as some overpayments. Deficiencies in internal systems and processes resulted in mistakes being made in the application of some provisions of Bupa’s enterprise agreements and modern awards.

Bupa Asia Pacific CEO Hisham El-Ansary said: “I am deeply sorry that we have let our people down and I am determined to ensure that we remedy this fairly for everyone who has been impacted.

“Our immediate priority is to pay those who have been underpaid, with interest and applicable superannuation, as soon as possible,” Mr El-Ansary said.

Bupa discovered instances of potential inaccuracies in its Australian payroll data and decided to undertake an extensive proactive review across all its enterprise agreements and modern awards in Australia, dating back to 1 July 2014.

Mr El-Ansary said: “Bupa has a large and diverse workforce in Australia with many employees subject to different employment conditions. An internal team working alongside external advisors has reviewed 28 enterprise agreements and modern awards, analysing millions of individual pay records, covering some 50,000 current and former employees.

“We now have the initial findings of the review and expect the full results in early 2022. Over the seven and a half years covered by the review, we estimate that the wage underpayments impact around 18,000 current and former employees and have a value of between $65 million to $75 million, excluding interest and applicable superannuation.

“The annual wage underpayments equate to approximately 1.3% of Bupa’s annual Australian payroll,” Mr El-Ansary said.

Bupa has communicated with its Australian workforce to let them know the initial results of the review and is currently working through the impact on each individual.

“We are committed to getting this right and will be able to provide more information to our people in the coming months, as we start the remediation process from March 2022.

“We are strengthening and simplifying our internal processes and systems, including putting in place additional auditing and assurance mechanisms, to ensure we are doing all we can to prevent mistakes like this from happening again,” Mr El-Ansary said.

Bupa has notified the Fair Work Ombudsman about the initial findings from its pay compliance review and is committed to keeping the Ombudsman informed throughout the process.

Any former Bupa employees can find further information on the Bupa Pay Review websitewhere they can also update their contact details. Impacted current and former employees will be contacted by Bupa beginning in early 2022.