Australia Post and NBN have collectively paid almost $300 MN in personal bonuses to employees over the past two years. Both companies restrained their total spending on bonus payments in the 2021 financial year, with NBN slashing $46.5 MN on staff, down from $78 million in the 2020 financial year, while Australia Post rewarded employees to the tune of $79 MN compared with $92 million last year. This amounts to $295.9 MN across the two years of the pandemic, the companies’ annual reports show.
“NBN Co and Australia Post operate in a competitive commercial environment and have to attract and retain staff with the necessary skills and expertise to manage these complex telecommunications and logistics businesses,” as shared by a spokesperson in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Australia Post executives who were forced to forgo their bonuses in 2020 at the height of the pandemic’s economic crisis and amid complaints about delivery delays, had them reinstated this year. Rodney Boys, who acted as the CEO for 10 months following Christine Holgate’s exit in November, earned an annual salary of $1.8 MN, including a $730,438 bonus this year.
In total, the postal service’s top eight executives will share in a total of $4.8 MN in bonuses this year, with each also receiving a bump in base salary. For example, executive general manager Nicole Sheffield received a $100,000 pay rise this year, plus a $714,000 bonus, taking her total salary to more than $1.5 MN.
The payout is, however, against a recent issuing update by the Australian Public Service Commission which prohibits Commonwealth entities on senior executive bonuses, stating not to pay them unless there were “exceptional circumstances or a contractual obligation.
However, an Australia Post spokesman said in media that over 2000 payments were to frontline workers who have managed through extraordinary circumstances to deliver for our customers and our community.
“Remuneration is regularly benchmarked externally and must be positioned competitively to attract, motivate and retain highly skilled senior managers. It reflects their responsibilities, performance, qualifications and experience,” the spokesman said.
A spokesman for NBN Co said the $46.5 MN in bonuses represented 5 percent of the company’s wages and salary costs and was spread across 3500 employees.