Woolworths Forced To Make Ex-Gratia Payments To Undercut Staff

It's not the only lawsuit they're facing

Article heading image for Woolworths Forced To Make Ex-Gratia Payments To Undercut Staff

Woolworths will pay out $50 million to former and current staff after settling a class-action lawsuit filed by Adero Law firm. 

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of employees from Woolworths and Woolworths owned chains Big W, Dan Murphy's and BWS back in November 2019. 

Now, the supermarket giant will be forced to pay ex gratia payments of $2,500 plus retirement benefits to about 20,000 current and former salaried team store members who worked in-store between January 2010 and September 2013. 

The payments are expected to come through before Christmas time. 

On top of the $50 million worth of ex gratia payments, Woolworths paid an undisclosed final settlement amount for the class action. 

Woolworths has been caught undercutting its employees before. 

The company is being sued by the Fair Work Ombudsman for allegedly underpaying around 19,000 workers a total of $1.1 million in wages and penalty rates. 


According to Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci, the $50 million payments were to cover workers who were underpaid beyond the legal limitation period of the FWO’s civil proceedings, that is before September 2013. 

“We said at the outset that we would extend our review beyond our legal obligations and look back to 2010. With detailed analysis challenging in the earlier years, we felt an equal and broad based payment to all potentially impacted team members was a fair and equitable way to approach remediation for this period. We’re pleased to have settled the class action proceedings. This will ensure our approach to full remediation can be appropriately addressed through the FWO proceedings,” Mr Banducci said.

Once the court has reached a determination on the FWO’s $1.1 million case against Woolworths, its employees, including those from Big W, Dan Murphy’s and BWS will receive their repayments.

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Triple M Newsroom

8 October 2021

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Triple M Newsroom

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