In January this year the ABC announced that it was working with Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) to review Band 1 classifications and the Buyout arrangements of 1759 current and former employees for potential underpayment.

The CPSU supports the examination of the ABC’s payment arrangements and whether underpayments have occurred, however on the 4th August, the ABC advised that it intends to include an employee’s Market Allowance in salary when looking at whether the salary offset potential underpayments of the Buyout Loadings. The CPSU does not agree with this position and has written to ABC and the regulator overseeing the review, to outline our concerns.

  1. The CPSU does not believe the ABC can justly use Market Allowance to offset potential underpayment of a Buyout Loading - Employees who receive a Buyout Loading and Market Allowance should read the attached letter for more details. Key points to note:

    Market Allowances are not intended to be compensation for hours of work or applicable penalties;
    Buyout Loadings need to accurately reflect hours of work required by the ABC; and
    Hiding insufficient buyout loadings and the true cost of the potential underpayments will perpetuate the problems that got the ABC into its underpayment mess in the first place.
  1. Time and Attendance Records ABC will rely on to make their assessments - ABC claim it has accurate time and attendance records for 75% of the employees within the scope of the review, including all records for Short Term Distant Assignment and Special Events, and Band 1 employees. In situations where the ABC is missing some or all of the time and attendance records for an employee, the ABC has said it will be using two ‘hours of work’ models that it developed with ABC managers and PWC as follows:

    Typical Work Schedules – This is basically a schedule of what a typical work day and hours of work would look like for some areas based on current work practices and workflows dating back six years.
    Like Me Analysis – Where average start and finish times are determined by matching the employee with other employees in the same cost centre, position, schedule and classification. The ABC has said that Like Me Analysis will be used when Typical Work Schedules cannot be applied.

  2. Details the ABC are yet to confirm:

    When will staff be notified of the review outcome? The proposed date for notifying staff continues to get pushed back for various and valid reasons. Presently the ABC believes the review including employee consultation and remedial payments will be completed this year.

    Future status of an employee’s Buyout contract it is proven to have resulted in underpayment? The ABC has said that Buyout contracts that have resulted in underpayment will be terminated, however it is unclear at what precise stage this will occur. It is also unclear if the ABC will replace the terminated Buyout with a new one. The ABC has however confirmed that employees who currently receive a Market Allowance will continue to receive that Market Allowance regardless of their review outcome re the Buyout Loading.

    How many employees within the scope of the review have a Buyout Loading and Market Allowance? The CPSU has asked the ABC to confirm how many employees within the scope of the review receive both a Market Allowance and a Buyout Loading.

For more information or to discuss your situation please email [email protected] or call 1300 137 636. Click here to join the CPSU.