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Michael Hill underpaid Aussie staff by up to $26 million, independent review finds

An independent review of jeweller Michael Hill International has found it underpaid its retail staff in Australia for the past six years.

The company said it might take some time to pay back staff, and it would cost it up to between A$10 million ($10.5m) and A$25m ($26.2m).

"We will move as quickly as possible to rectify any under-payments with those team members affected," chief executive Daniel Bracken said.

"I will be in contact with all team members today to apologise on behalf of the company and to provide an outline of the process we are following to establish who is impacted."

The review by PricewaterhouseCoopers found Michael Hill incorrectly applied Australia's fair pay law to its employment contracts and rostering practices.

It had begun a more detailed review of all employee records.

The cost of repayments was not expected to have a material impact on its underlying earnings.

However, preliminary annual figures showed the groups sales falling more than 4 percent in the year to June.

rnz.co.nz

Melbourne, Australia - August 24, 2017: A pedestrian walks past a Michael Hill jewelry store at the corner of Little Collins and Elizabeth Streets in the Central Business District of Melbourne, Australia.
Michael Hill jeweller. Source: istock.com