Finance

Dick Smith collapse: 22 head office jobs to go including chief financial officer; employees potentially underpaid annual leave

Eloise Keating /

 

Receivers Ferrier Hodgson will restructure the Dick Smith support office in a move that will result in 22 jobs being cut at the collapsed electronics retailer.

The restructure will also involve the departure of the company’s chief financial officer Michael Potts, who has been with the company since September 2013.

Bert van der Velde has been appointed as interim chief financial officer. Previously, van der Velde has held senior executive roles at Woolworths, Eldorado Company and Metro Cash and Carry. 

“This ongoing restructuring of the business is a necessary step in creating a leaner organisation going forward while our discussions with interested parties continue,” said Ferrier Hodgson partner James Stewart in a statement.

Following the first meeting of the company’s creditors in January, reports emerged that 12 employees at the Dick Smith head office had been made redundant. 

Dick Smith’s receivers have also revealed that as many as 3200 current and former employees of the company may have been underpaid annual leave loading entitlements as far back as 2010.

The receivers said the potential underpayments are unrelated to the restructure of the company’s head office and do not affect current or former employees in New Zealand.

The total value of the underpayments of annual leave loading is estimated to be approximately $2 million.

“The underpayment of entitlements appears to reflect an incorrect application of the relevant industrial award,” said Stewart. 

Ferrier Hodgson said the potential underpayments have been brought to the attention of the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association. The receivers said any additional employee entitlements will rank as priority claims ahead of those of secured creditors. 

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Eloise Keating

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.

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