More than 7000 Commonwealth Bank of Australia part-time staff are owed millions of dollars in unpaid superannuation entitlements, according to legal advice.
The Finance Sector Union of Australia claims 7000 part-time staff, including the lowest paid, have not received their full superannuation entitlements since at least 2009.
The union will take the dispute to the Fair Work Commission if it cannot be resolved with the bank.
Thousands of other employees, including those who are now full-time and former workers who have left the bank, may also be owed unpaid benefits.
"We know there are 7000 part-timers in CBA at the moment but there has been a regular turnover of part-time bank staff over the years and the full extent of the problem could run into millions of dollars in back payments plus interest," FSU national secretary Julia Angrisano said.
"It is bad enough that Australia's most profitable bank pays some of the lowest wages in the banking sector, now we are finding that part-time staff aren't getting their full superannuation entitlement".
Ms Angrisano said the CBA employs a large number of part-time workers in branches, call centres and administration who have been paid superannuation to cover a set amount of hours they were originally contracted to work for – not the actual hours worked.
The CBA is facing claims it owes millions of dollars. Photo: Michael Clayton Jones
The full extent of unpaid superannuation was not known, but the vast majority of part-time staff are women.
The FSU says that staff can work up to 38 hours per week and still be counted as part-timers under the CBA enterprise agreement.
"CBA workers are telling us that they frequently work longer hours to cover staff shortages and it is that extra time worked where the Commonwealth has been exploiting them by not paying the additional superannuation," Ms Angrisano said.
"The FSU has a legal opinion that the CBA should be paying 9.5 per cent extra into superannuation accounts for members to cover their full weekly wage but the bank is refusing to acknowledge its responsibility.
"It is simply not fair for the CBA to pay its part-time staff less than their full entitlement."
She said the bank's vision statement includings helping secure the financial well being of people, business and communities, but accused it of failing to meet this goal for its own staff.
A CBA spokeswoman said the bank has advised the FSU it is reviewing its concerns.
It said it has assured the union the "CBA understands the importance of superannuation to help secure and enhance the financial wellbeing of our employees, and are committed to ensuring that we comply with obligations to employees".This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.auAuthor: Anna Patty