Six former wealth advisers from Macquarie Bank have filed a claim to the Federal Court against the bank for alleged underpayments exceeding $1 million, bringing the total sum of underpayment claims against the bank to over $15 million.
The ex-employees are alleging that they were only paid in commission and were therefore underpaid annual leave, minimum weekly wages, penalty rates, and personal leave, according to AFR reports.
This is far from the first time Macquarie has been hit with claims of underpayment: the bank has already been hit with seven separate claims of underpayment, four of which have been settled.
Law firm WilliamsonBarwick special counsel Adrian Barwick represents most of the former employees and has brought at least three cases against Macquarie Bank so far.
Under the Banking, Finance and Insurance Award, employees have to be paid a minimum wage or agreed salary that can’t be off-set by incentives like commissions, the law firm is arguing.
"This case challenges the validity of the commission-only remuneration model for advisers in financial services and points to the fact that a large employer and possibly many of its competitors in the industry have not at all times complied with statutory and award requirements," said Barwick.
WilliamsonBarwick represent 40 advisers and are claiming more than $15 million in back pay and interest, with some individual claims as high as $300,000.
A further 18 former Macquarie Bank staff, many who have worked at Macquarie Bank for over a decade, are being represented by Opus Legal.
Macquarie Bank reportedly ended the practice of commission-only payment after the Banking Royal Commission and has said it will defend the claims, according to the AFR.
Macquarie Bank slashed at least 55 jobs to its private wealth unit in 2018, and several of the advisers claiming underpayments were part of these job cuts.
Yahoo Finance has contacted Macquarie Bank and WilliamsonBarwick for comment.
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