Dick Smith Owes 3200 Employees $2 Million In Unpaid Wages

Dick Smith Owes 3200 Employees $2 Million In Unpaid Wages

Struggling retailer Dick Smith went into voluntary administration last month, after a holiday period filled with firesales and extreme discounting. But new information reveals that Dick Smith owes a large number of employees a significant dollar figure in underpaid annual leave.

This underpayment apparently goes back as far as 2010.

As Business Insider Australia reports, Dick Smith’s receiver Ferrier Hodgson has announced a major structural overhaul and, as part of ongoing investigations, discovered the underpayment issue.

“Based on our investigations to date,”explained James Stewart of Ferrier Hodgson, “we understand that up to 3,200 current and former employees of the Australian business may have been underpaid their annual leave loading entitlements, potentially dating back to 2010.”

The figure is thought to amount to $2 million in unpaid wages.

As part of a restructure, Dick Smith is set to make 22 support roles redundant. Its current CFO Michael Potts is also being made redundant.

Business Insider has more details.

3200 Dick Smith employees have been underpaid [Dick Smith]


  • I am old enough to remember Ansett’s downfall, and knew many poor unfortunates who had to wait years for what they were owed.

    My thoughts are with you if you were affected!

    • I remember being a frequent flyer with Ansett and was invited to the big meeting where they pretty much put the final nail in the coffin, I was bout 12 at the time and the one thing that struck me was for 3 people with points in our house we received 9 letters of invite i thought that was a decent little waste of money right there.

    • It’s not as bad now as it was back then. The Australian government now guarantees employee entitlements (FEG scheme) so that even if the company liquidates and can’t pay it all to employees then the government steps in to make up the difference.

      I was retrenched from Custom Coaches when they shut down in SA in 2014. Got about 60% of my entitlements from the administrators, the rest came around a year later from FEG.

  • More importantly, Dick Smith owes me a hundy bucks for that gift voucher I got for christmas.

    • Good luck! My mate just went through the process and it was quite painful by the sounds of it 🙁

      • I started to but it got so complicated that I thought I needed to get a degree in tax and redundancy law to finish the process. So I gave up.

    • I thought Woolworths still accept them as show of good faith? See if you can buy a JB card instead.

  • I guess it’s a good thing some of the DSE employees made so much hoarding backroom stock everytime there was a sale.

  • I bet that in 6 months time they will start closing stores saying they are trying to recoup money. Then 3 months after that it will all be game over and DS will be dead and buried.

    • They’ll probably change their name to Tandy Electronics and pretend that they’re not the same guys.

  • Fuck me – I am a Payroll Administrator and that is a really basic thing to get wrong – so basic that I’d suggest it was deliberate 🙁

      • I get that – but it’s a real special kind of stupidity to assume that you don’t have to pay leave loading to retail employees who you could assume are on award rates and even they’re paid above award they’re conditions are governed by the award.

        Basically the only way they’re getting away with not paying LL is to have an EBA which has bargained away leave loading as a condition.

        So I can’t see how stupidity explains this, because if it is an oversight then the people who screwed this up should be let near a HR or finance department again!

  • This is terrible. So what happened was that it was sold. The next people in basically halved what the stock cost on the books so it looked like it made massive profits and it was growing and bought new stores. And was sold again. The new owners basically bought a balloon full of hot air that popped. There should be several people in jail for fraud but hey that’s business.

  • /ex-employee of DSE


    Why the butts do I find out I might have been underpaid from Kotaku!?

  • A dick by name and nature then. Good work. Once jb hifi really got going wasn’t this inevitable? It’s like masters warehouse…once bunnings became the behemoth it is, the writing was on the wall. You have to fill a niche , and do it well at that.
    Kinda makes me wonder how e.b. even survives, sure it’s gaming and gaming only, but always cramped stores ( in Perth anyway), and have u seen the state of the games? Is it to much to ask for them to be in order? Sure ppl mess them up, but I take one glance, my eyes glaze over and I’m outta there.
    They price match but Yeh, even before the Internet I knew what I was looking for…salesperson is there to ring up my sale and nothing more.
    Oh wait there is more…do you want disc scratch insurance?
    ” Sorry, I don’t live with roomies anymore and I’m not a slob, so no, I think I’m quite capable of keeping a game working mate. The lady behind me will probably take you up on that though. Good day, sir.”
    Sorry but my hate for them is so real, ever since they gave me 30 dollars for a brand new game trade and then I saw it back on the shelf USED at 95 dollars the next day.
    But then again I can thank them for inspiring me not to trade in anymore and amass a collection of 80 plus 360 games so I guess they were good for something!
    Shit, this article was about dick smith wasn’t it?

  • “Dick Smith Owes 3200 Employees $2 Million In Unpaid Wages” I think that head line is most unfair to Dick Smith personally, who is a great Australian. In fairness it should have been “Dick Smith Electronics Owes 3200 Employees $2 Million In Unpaid Wages”

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