Beaurepaires Employee Payroll Correction
If you think you may be impacted by this issue, please contact our dedicated support team on
An open letter to current and former Beaurepaires Associates
Dear Current and Former Beaurepaires Australia Associates,
I want to inform you of a payroll correction that impacts a number of both current and past weekly-paid Retail Associates at Beaurepaires Australia.
As you may know, we pay many of our former and current weekly-paid retail Associates in accordance with the Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010. To evaluate the system’s consistency with the Award, we conducted a review of our payroll system with the assistance of independent external experts.
The review revealed a number of errors that caused us to under or overpay some of our weekly-paid retail associates since 2010. These errors appear to be caused by our failure to appropriately interpret the award in relation to overtime, shift loadings and annual leave loading for shift workers.
To be clear, the correction only affects Beaurepaires Australia weekly-paid retail Associates and does not impact monthly-paid Associates.
We are briefing our current weekly-paid retail associates on the correction, and in the near future, we will be communicating with other important stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, industry and government contacts, as well as the media. I wanted to make sure all Beaurepaires Australia Associates hear from me first about what has happened and what we are doing about it.
Paying our people accurately is one of the most fundamental responsibilities of our business. It is of critical importance, including to the integrity and trust that Beaurepaires Australia stands for. That’s why we want to be very clear in stating that this failure is completely unacceptable and that we are taking responsibility for addressing the correction as quickly and transparently as possible.
Since we discovered these issues, our priority has been to ensure that we understand what happened, how the errors occurred, what is owed and that we correctly compensate our retail associates, now and in the future.
It has taken time to work through these corrections, given the size of our workforce and the sheer volume of data that has had to be extracted, analysed and verified. We have been working with external experts to ensure the analysis was completed as quickly and accurately as possible.
Starting immediately, we will be in contact with affected current and former Retail Associates about the incorrect payments. We are committed to repaying relevant amounts as soon as possible. We are conducting this process in a way that is fair and responsible, and that, in some respects, goes beyond our statutory obligations in recognition of the importance of Retail Associates to our business.
We have implemented changes to our processes and governance to ensure all associates receive the right pay going forward, and that this does not happen again.
Our associates are the face of Beaurepaires Australia in the community and represent our business every day, and we apologise for letting you down in this way. We will do better.
Director of Retail Operations, Beaurepaires
Frequently Asked Questions
We conducted a review of our payroll & time and attendance systems to determine whether these systems are consistent with the Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010 (the Award).
Unfortunately, our payroll review identified several errors which have resulted in instances of under or over-paying some of our weekly-paid Retail Associates. These errors appear to be caused by our failure to appropriately interpret the award in relation to overtime and annual leave loading for shift workers.
Whilst this mistake was not deliberate, paying our associates incorrectly is unacceptable and we apologise unreservedly. We are also committed to doing better in the future.
How will people impacted be contacted?
Current or former Associates of Beaurepaires Australia that we believe to be impacted will be contacted in writing in the first instance. A letter and pack with a unique ID number will be sent that outlines details for each individual person. Where a payment is due, we are committed to repaying relevant amounts as soon as possible. We are conducting this process in a way that is fair and responsible, and that, in some respects, goes beyond our statutory obligations in recognition of the importance of Retail Associates to our business.
If you believe you may be affected, or have questions about the material you receive, you can contact our dedicated support team on 1300 47 33 78 (and selecting ‘Option 0’), or alternatively via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. A representative is available to speak with you Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm AEST. Please note that the team will not be able to speak to your manager or family members on your behalf. Please quote your Case Reference Number if possible to make the process more efficient.
How was the error identified?
We first became aware of the potential discrepancies as the result of an internal review of our payroll systems and processes that we undertook at our own initiative. Since this time, we have been working with expert external consultants to review and determine the scope of any underpayments.
What steps have been taken to avoid this happening again?
We have undertaken a full review of payments made to weekly-paid Retail Associates covered by the Award during their employment with us since 2010. It has taken time to work through these corrections, given the size of our workforce and the sheer volume of data that has had to be extracted, analysed and verified.
We have been working with external experts to ensure the analysis was completed as quickly and accurately as possible. Since we discovered these issues, our priority has been to ensure that we understand what happened, how the errors occurred and that we correctly compensate our Retail Associates, now and in the future.
In recognition of this being our error, and in order to recognise the importance of our Retail Associates, we have decided to go beyond our statutory obligations to make good any underpayments owing to our Retail Associates and will be making any necessary repayments that may be owing from 21 March 2010.
Specifically, we have undertaken the following process:
expert external consulting firms were appointed to undertake this work to ensure affected Retail Associates can have confidence in the outcome and that the analysis was completed as soon as possible;
we have committed to repaying affected current and former Retail Associates, with interest and with other statutory obligations wherever relevant, and we are communicating directly with affected individuals to this end;
we have improved our processes and governance, to ensure such failures do not happen again. A full external review of the Award conditions and their interpretation will be carried out annually from now and when the Award is amended. We have also set up an internal governance team to ensure that our processes remain up to date;
we have updated our time and attendance and payroll system to ensure all weekly-paid Retail Associates can have full confidence that they will be paid correctly going forward. In doing this, we have sought independent, expert advice on the relevant Award and its application; particularly in relation to how overtime, shift loadings and annual leave loading for shift workers is applied; and
we have provided a detailed briefing to our retail managers to ensure they are familiar with the key aspects of the Award.
How did this occur and not be picked up until now?
This mistake was not deliberate. We failed to update our business practices and way of calculating payroll provisions to comply with changes to the Award. Regrettably, our processes were not sophisticated enough to detect these mistakes earlier, resulting in both over and underpayments.
Not paying our Associates correctly is completely unacceptable and we take full and unreserved responsibility for this. We have learned from our mistakes and are applying the lessons to improve our process and make sure such failures cannot happen again.
Due to the complexity of the issues and the volume of data this process has taken some time. During our review, our focus has been on ensuring the issues are fixed properly, with appropriate rigour and transparency that gives all of our Associates confidence in the outcome. We want to set this right once without the risk of recalculating any back-payments again.
Why are you only looking at the period to 21 March 2010? How do we know there were no issues with our pay prior?
Our legal obligation is to make repayments only up to six years. However, we are putting our Associates first and have decided to make repayments owed for the entire period through to 21 March 2010. Consistent with our legal obligations in relation to the retention of employment records, Beaurepaires Australia does not hold time and attendance records before this time.
How can I have confidence in payroll going forward?
We have improved our processes and governance to ensure such failures do not happen again. A full external review of the Award conditions and their interpretation will be carried out annually from now on and when the Award is amended. We have also set up an internal governance team to ensure that our processes remain up to date. We have updated our time and attendance and payroll systems to ensure that you are paid correctly going forward. In doing this, we have sought independent, expert advice on the relevant Award and its application, particularly in relation to how overtime, call outs and annual leave loading are applied.
This means that you can have full confidence that you will be paid correctly.
We know that we need to rebuild your trust, and that it’s critical that our Associates have confidence that they will be paid correctly. We are doing everything we can to ensure this is the case, and we are grateful for your support.
How do I understand how my pay will be calculated in future?
Beaurepaires Australia managers and the HR Team have been provided with information and training about how future payments are calculated and we will also hold a series of updates with Associates to ensure we can answer your questions.
The way in which you will be paid will depend on your individual pattern of work, but we are committed to ensuring that it is always in line with the requirements of the Award.
You’ve said you will repay with interest – at what rate?
We have committed to repaying affected Associates with interest and to do so in a fair and transparent way. Any payments made to Associates will be subject to interest at the rate of 5% per annum (cumulative year to year). Where superannuation payments are payable, they will be paid at the current Superannuation Guarantee rate of 9.5%, with interest at a rate of 8.5%.
You should read your letter carefully regarding having to disclose interest payments as taxable income in your tax return, as they will not appear in your payment summary. You may also wish to seek independent financial advice.
If I am owed money, when will I be paid?
Any payment owed will be paid within 21 days of us receiving the completed supporting documents sent out to you in this pack. Please note that without all required documents we may not be able to process your pay.
If I receive any payment, will it affect my tax, HECS/HELP or Centrelink/Child Support?
There could be an impact to your tax, HECS/HELP or Centrelink/Child Support. As each person has specific circumstances, we are not able to offer advice in this area. We recommend that you seek independent financial advice should you have any further questions.
How will this affect my superannuation?
Where superannuation payments are payable, they will be paid at the current Superannuation Guarantee rate of 9.5%, with interest at a rate of 8.5%. The interest of 8.5% is to compensate for the average superannuation fund performance over the affected period.
Where do I go for more information?
If you think you may be impacted by this issue, please contact our dedicated support team on