AP Eagers admits to underpaying staff by $4.5 million

AP Eagers admits to underpaying staff by $4.5 million

Automotive retailer AP Eagers (ASX: APE) has apologised to staff after discovering 6,200 employees were underpaid by $4.5 million.

The shortfall in payments to staff equates to just under 0.25 per cent of a total $2.1 billion payments made to employees over the same period of time.

The company says it identified the 'anomalies' during a review of the group's payroll systems.

The issues appear to stem from the previous system's disparate nature, with multiple payroll systems managed by individual dealerships, some of which were acquired by AP Eagers in recent years.

The retailer engaged PwC to undertake an external assessment of AP Eagers' payroll to determine the extent of the underpayment problem and to identify which employees were impacted.

AP Eagers has since self-reported to the Fair Work Ombudsman, and AP Eagers has pledged to fully cooperate with any investigation conducted by the Ombudsman.

"We unreservedly apologise to our employees," says AP Eagers CEO Martin Ward (pictured).

"AP Eagers is committed to paying the amounts owed to past and present employees, in full and with interest, as soon as practically possible."

"We understand the importance of ensuring our employees are paid their entitlements in full and on time we take full responsibility for the mistake and we are very sorry."

The company is now implementing a centralised time and attendance system, as well as improvements to its payroll process, to ensure employees are correctly paid going forward.

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