Uni Melbourne underpaid staff $22m, with more to come

The money is owed to present and former casual staff who were underpaid over eight years

The “most common” underpayments were for minimum hours and weekend/public holiday work, accounting for 90 per cent. The payment to 15 000 people will include interest and superannuation.

The two classes of underpayments generally effected professional staff but last year Uni Melbourne announced it would pay nearly $10m to casual academics who did not receive the correct rate for work (CMM September 10 2021).

Uni Melbourne states its present review of staff entitlements is “on-going” and “additional tranches of payments will be made progressively.” The next group to be paid will be previous casuals who are now fixed-term or continuing employees.

The university statement refers to its “strengthening” resources and training, “to support whole of university oversight and governance of our employment processes and obligations.”

Uni Melbourne faces a Federal Court action brought by the Fair Work Ombudsman over allegations of underpayment of casual academics (CMM August 12).

The university stated yesterday it is “committed to paying all employees properly and in accordance with its legal obligations.”