It may be a new year, but it appears negative attention is still haunting the ABC.
In a statement issued yesterday, the government-funded broadcaster said it had “recently identified that some casual employees have been underpaid”.
“A detailed review is underway to confirm how penalties, allowances and loadings should have been calculated and applied over the past six years to about 2500 ‘flat-rate’ casual staff,” the statement said.
“Current and former casual employees who might be affected are being notified, and the ABC is reviewing its processes to address the issue for the future.”
The Fair Work Ombudsman has also been notified, and the ABC said it is liaising with the government agency in relation to the situation.
The broadcaster said it is having discussions with the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), which brought the matter to the attention of management, and intends to work with affected staff, the CPSU and the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance to address their concerns.
“This error should not have occurred, and the ABC apologises to any casual employee who has been underpaid,” the statement said.
“The ABC is actively working to remedy this for affected employees as soon as possible.”
ABC stands by “lawful” Guthrie dismissal
Meanwhile, the ABC has responded to sacked managing director Michelle Guthrie’s lawsuit against her old employer for unfair dismissal.
Guthrie filed the Federal Court action on 20 December, arguing for her re-instatement as the ABC’s boss, as well as compensation from the broadcaster for losses and damages.
She also wants the ABC, ex-chairman Justin Milne and board directors Donny Walford, Joseph Gersh and Vanessa Guthrie to pay her penalties.
Guthrie was paid $800,000 by the ABC when she was terminated from her role back in September last year.
In a statement issued yesterday, the ABC slammed Guthrie’s allegation that she was subject to adverse action because, amongst other things, she had made complaints.
“This is not correct. Ms Guthrie was dismissed because the board had lost confidence in her. She was not dismissed because of any complaints she’d made,” the statement said.
“Ms Guthrie also alleges she could not be dismissed during her term. The corporation disputes this is the case. Ms Guthrie’s termination was lawful.
“The ABC board stands by its decision to terminate Ms Guthrie’s appointment and the corporation will defend the claims.”