Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

Red Cross taking action to remedy underpayment of employees

Australian Red Cross (Humanitarian Division) has entered into an Enforceable Undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman to address the previously disclosed issue of underpayment of pay, allowances and other entitlements to current and former Red Cross employees over several years.  

The errors were unintentional and Australian Red Cross sincerely apologises.  

From the initial discovery of the problem, it was not yet apparent how complex the root causes of the underpayments were. Red Cross has taken time to investigate the true nature of the problem. This involved reviewing every fortnight’s rates of pay, allowances and other entitlements for approximately 9700 people over nine years, and comparing it to what they were due each fortnight.  

Since the mistakes were found, Australian Red Cross has updated its remuneration framework and payroll system, enhanced employee training, and strengthened its compliance framework to prevent this situation happening again.  

Red Cross is working to rectify this fully and properly as soon as reasonably possible. Significant progress has been made to repay our current and former employees, starting with those covered by the SCHADS award which accounts for approximately 55% of affected employees.

All further payments covered by the remaining industrial instruments will be made by 21 February 2022 as outlined in our commitment to the Fair Work Ombudsman.  Australian Red Cross Humanitarian Services Division has provisioned $27.7 million to cover payments for all former and present employees across all industrial instruments.  

We acknowledge this has taken longer than we had hoped and that this may have caused additional stress for people affected. 

We deeply regret the length of time involved in rectifying this however we are committed to resolving this fully and properly.  We thank current and former employees and their families for their understanding.  

Australian Red Cross Society is made up of two divisions - the Humanitarian Services Division and Lifeblood, which operate as separate organisations.