Unexpected payments for some Capecare staff

Approximately 400 current and past award-based staff at Capecare will receive an unexpected payment later this month after the Busselton and Dunsborough-based aged care organisation identified payroll discrepancies from the period of 2014 to 2020.

Capecare, Western Australia’s largest regional not-for-profit aged care provider, is repaying all monies owed with interest to recognise and recompense all affected employees.

CEO Joanne Penman said the organisation’s Board and management regretted that this error has occurred and was in the process of contacting all affected staff. She said remediation payments would be made as quickly as possible.

“The discrepancies were identified by a new member of our payroll team. Following a rigorous investigation, the main cause was determined to be inconsistencies of award interpretations in our systems,” she said.

Capecare Chair Martha Ryan said the Board took the discovery of the payroll discrepancies extremely seriously and regretted the errors made.

“We sincerely apologise to affected staff and Capecare is doing its best to compensate staff as quickly as possible.

“On discovery of the potential errors, the Board and Management proactively appointed independent auditors KPMG to undertake an extensive review to ensure accuracy and full transparency,” Ms Ryan said.

Capecare has self-reported its non-compliance to the Fair Work Ombudsman, advising that it had incorrectly applied clauses of the Nurses Award 2010 and the Aged Care Award 2010.

Ms Penman, who commenced with Capecare in October 2021, said Capecare was taking every reasonable measure to ensure this kind of error did not recur.

“We are implementing a number of new procedures and systems, including investing in a new HR information system to measure time and attendance; outsourcing the payroll function; utilising a Compliance Officer to monitor changes to awards and national employment standards; developing an internal payroll audit process; and introducing annual external payroll audits.”

Affected staff will be contacted via mail and phone and advised of the monies owed and the process for repayment.

Capecare has been established for 60 years and is a not-for-profit and independent community organisation, existing to serve the needs of our older people in the Capes Region.

For specific enquiries on the payroll underpayment, email hr@capecare.com.au or call 9750 2000 and ask for the HR department.