Hundreds of staff underpaid at Queensland utility

 

SUNWATER has underpaid hundreds of senior staff for more than a decade in a bungle that could have ripped off up to a quarter of its workforce.

The state-owned water utility has written to current and former staff employed as far back as 2006 to warn they may have been underpaid.

In a move that could have affected about 400 senior staff employed on individual contracts, Sunwater failed to identify sections of an enterprise agreement.

The problem was discovered during recent negotiations over the agreement.

In a statement, Sunwater said those affected were "largely technical specialists and senior leaders".

Operator maintainers, electricians, mechanical tradespeople, administration and civil teams have not been affected, it said.

But the agency does not know exactly how many people who have been left out of pocket and has hired external consultants to help identify those it owes money to.

Sunwater has also referred itself to the federal Workplace Ombudsman and has attempted to contact staff. The embarrassing error will see taxpayers hit for back-pay.