UWA to repay $10.6 million after admitting superannuation underpayments

The University of Western Australia will repay thousands of former and current staff members to the tune of $10.6 million after self-reporting superannuation underpayments dating back more than a decade.

On Thursday, the university revealed superannuation underpayments had affected 2700 existing and 5500 former employees, leading the country’s major tertiary education union to call for urgent reforms.

The university has reported wage theft to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The university has reported wage theft to the Fair Work Ombudsman. Credit: Trevor Collens

In an email sent to staff, Vice Chancellor Amit Chakma confirmed the pay discrepancy had been reported to the Fair Work Ombudsman and that staff would be repaid $6.6 million, plus $4 million in interest.

It followed a review of superannuation entitlements by the university which identified shortfalls in the application of the 17 per cent superannuation contribution to some employee allowance and leave entitlements.

“We deeply regret this has occurred, and we offer our sincere apologies to those affected. We will continue to review the application of employee entitlements to ensure this does not happen again,” Chakma wrote.


“It was unintentional and we assure you that the university had previously acted in accordance with what we understood to be our obligations.

“The university is committed to an ongoing culture of compliance, continuous improvement and review of its payroll processes and administration to ensure all university employees are receiving the correct entitlements.”

The National Tertiary Education Union predicted the multimillion-dollar figure would rise when the university completed a review of potential wage theft from casual staff later in the year.

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