LA Private

Woolworths and Super Retail Group in legal hot water

Major legal action involving two of the country’s biggest retailers on Friday in separate stories — Woolworths (ASX:WOW) and Super Retail Group (ASX:SUL).

In Melbourne, Woolworths has been fined $1.2 million after admitting it failed to pay out more than $1 million in leave entitlements to about 1,200 Victorian workers.

The retailer was facing a maximum penalty of more than $10 billion, but Melbourne magistrate Nahrain Warda today found the smaller fine to be suitable punishment.

Woolworths self-reported its breaches to Victoria’s wage watchdog in February 2022 after it undertook a review of its payroll systems

It discovered some of its employees were not being paid their long service leave entitlements after leaving the company due to discrepancies in payment calculations.

The investigation by Wage Inspectorate Victoria found the underpayments happened on 3,617 occasions between January 2020 and July 2022.

The company was charged for those who were underpaid more than $250, which resulted in about $1 million in unpaid leave for 1,227 former Victorian staff members.

AAP reported that Woolworths pleaded guilty on April 18 in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court to the more than 1,000 charges laid down by the inspectorate.

Woolies shares were down 0.97% at 12.30pm Friday in a wider market that was down more than 1.2%.


The board of Super Retail Group has denied bombshell allegations of an undisclosed relationship involving its Chief Executive Anthony Heraghty and bullying claims that are expected to form the basis of a $50 million lawsuit.

The company, which owns Supercheap Auto and Rebel Sport, shocked investors with a statement to the ASX on Friday revealing the looming court action.

The company said it expects two employees, represented by Harmers Workplace Lawyers, will shortly start court proceedings in a damages claim in the range of $30 million to $50 million.

Super Retail said it expects the proceedings’ allegations to include the non-disclosure of a relationship between Heraghty and the group’s former HR boss, who is not one of the two employees making the claim.

Other allegations include inappropriate company travel, bullying, victimisation and adverse treatment. This includes particular employees in the corporate team having unreasonable workloads, insufficient resources and restricted access to information.

Friday’s statement said: “The Board has conducted a review and investigations into these allegations. The Board was supported by independent external advisers. The Board’s review and investigations concluded that none of the allegations are substantiated.”

Super Retail said it will defend any court proceedings in relation to the allegations via its lawyers from Allens: “As these matters are expected to be the subject of litigation, the Group does not intend to make any further comment at this time. The Group will update the market on this matter as appropriate.”

Super Retail shares fell more than 8% on Friday morning after the statement became public. They were down 4.5% at 12.30pm Friday.