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$61 million: Rebel Sport, Supercheap Auto joins underpay crisis

Super Retail Group's staff underpayment bill has shot up by $8 million in an update in its half-yearly results. (Images: AAP)

Super Retail Group, the umbrella company behind Rebel Sport, Supercheap Auto and BCF, has revealed its staff underpayment bill has reached $61.2 million.

The company was previously busted for not paying its managers overtime rights to the tune of $32 million. In total it identified $53.2 million owed to staff at the end of 2018.

But in its half-yearly announcement on Thursday morning, Super Retail Group increased its wage remediation estimate by $8 million after finding "additional team members also impacted by overtime underpayments".

The total bill owed to staff is now $61.2 million, excluding administration costs.

The admission follows a string of employee underpayment scandals in the retail and services sector. Just this week, Coles disclosed a $20 million underpayment bill in its results and Wesfarmers revealed a $9 million shortfall at Target.

The Shop, Distribution and Allied Employees’ Association national secretary Gerard Dwyer said the government must allow unions to perform spot audits on payroll systems.

“This is an epidemic – not only hurting hard working Australians but the reputation of the companies themselves,” he said.

“It need never have happened. Australia did not have a systemic wage theft problem when unions had the right to spot check company payrolls. Successive coalition governments stripped unions of those rights and now we have an epidemic, getting worse by the day.”

Super Retail Group also revealed "a significant proportion" of the company's products are sourced from China, with two supplier factories located in Wuhan supplying Rebel Sport and Macpac.

"There is no expectation of a material impact on availability of product in the short term," Super Retail stated.

The conglomerate's half-year net profit plunged 20 per cent to $54.7 million. Revenue inched up 2.9 per cent to $1.44 billion.

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