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Super Retail Group Lawsuit Grows

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By Published On: May 1, 20240 Comments

The case against Super Retail Group has thickened this week as lawyers reveal more employees have come forward with allegations.

Last week, it was revealed that two employees of Super Retail Group will be commencing court proceedings against the Group. 

On April 26, Super Retail Group, which operates Supercheap Auto, rebel, BCF, and Macpac, released commentary to the ASX, stating that the Group expects the employees to jointly claim loss and damage in the range of $30 million to $50 million. 

The Group expects that the allegations in the proceedings will include: the non-disclosure of a relationship between the Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, and the former Chief Human Resources Officer, inappropriate company travel; bullying, victimisation and adverse treatment; particular employees in the corporate team having unreasonable workloads, insufficient resources and restricted access to information; and unsatisfactory company record management.

Super Retail Group signalled its intention to defend any court proceedings stating its board had investigated, and concluded that none of the allegations are substantiated. 

On April 29, Harmers Workplace Lawyers, the law firm representing the employees, revealed that more whistleblowers had come forward following the allegations. Harmers now acts for four clients who are whistleblowers against SRG (within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001). 

“Since Friday’s announcement, we have been approached by a further number of current and ex employees with similar concerns,” the lawyers stated, and also revealed that a third party had approached with “key evidence” against the Group. 

“One of our clients made a whistleblower complaint in November 2023, via the internal whistleblower platform Whispli, concerning the longer term existence of the relationship and its impact on governance issues – but that complaint was removed from the Integrity Officer and the Head of Risk and given to HR management answering directly to Ms Kelly [one of the parties involved in the workplace relationship.] 

“Our clients offered to confidentially settle this matter for sums less than one third of the dollar amounts in the SRG announcement.

“SRG is well aware that this is not a “shakedown”, but a justifiable legal claim for damages, being deliberately misrepresented,” the lawyers wrote on Monday.

Harmers expressed their concern for the wellbeing of their clients due to the matter being made public.

This is not the first time Super Retail Group has come under legal scrutiny. Back in January 2023 Super Retail Group found itself facing legal action at the Federal court from The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO). The case took a sample of 146 employees across the group who were allegedly underpaid. The underpayment totals a reported $1.14 million of work between January 2017 and March 2019 as a result of salaried pay that failed to cover the minimum lawful pay entitlements. Super Retail Group self-reported the matter in 2018 to the FWO and undertook a back payment process.

As these matters are expected to be the subject of litigation, Super Retail Group has stated it does not intend to make any further comment at this time.

About the Author: Rosalea Catterson

Rosalea is the Editor of Power Retail. With a keen interest in consumer behaviour and tech, she covers everything ecommerce and hosts the Power Retail Power Talks Podcast.

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