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Payments to underpaid staff will include an additional 10 per cent as compensation (Perth Archdiocese)

The Perth Archdiocese has admitted to underpaying more than 100 staff by more than $1.6 million over six years. Source: The West Australian. 

In a statement uploaded on the archdiocese’s website on Thursday, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB said the Church had written to the 111 impacted employees to advise them of the underpayment.

The underpayment was a result of the Church believing WA industrial awards did not apply to 35 current and 76 former employees within the archdiocese between 2017 and 2023. The awards covered staff in social services, clerks, cleaners and catering.

The archdiocese employed EY to investigate the underpayment, reporting back in late 2023.

Payments to staff who had been underpaid would start from Friday, including an additional 10 per cent as “compensation for any inconvenience to affected employees”. The payments will also include unpaid superannuation.

Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe apologised for the errors, saying he was disappointed.

“We simply should have done better,” he said.

“I have instructed that every priority and resource be assigned to ensure the successful resolution of this matter as quickly as possible.

“I assure each and every current and former employee who has been underpaid during the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2023, that restitution will be made as soon as can possibly be arranged.

“The archdiocese is now reviewing and establishing new protocols and procedures to ensure that the Archdiocese’s operations achieve best practice standards in all that we do”.

In a separate statement, the archdiocese denied the underpayments were wage theft, saying it at no time intended to short-change the workers.

While the staff were all employed by the archdiocese, the statement said it would now offer assistance to their 105 Catholic parishes in relation to award compliance, raising concerns the issue could be more widespread.


Catholic Church admits underpaying 111 Perth staff by $1.6 million (By Dylan Caporn, The West Australian)

Statement of information (Perth Archdiocese)