Qld Rail ordered not to pay $4.9m in bonuses
QUEENSLAND Rail has been told not to pay out more than $4.9 million in bonuses due to its employees, with part of the cash to instead be spent providing free travel.
QR chair David Marchant this afternoon issued a statement on the fate of the bonuses - worth an average of $17,800 - due to about 410 employees.
In the end only 370 employees were deemed eligible for $4.9 million in bonuses with 40 not meeting the necessary KPIs.
The decision not to pay them follows intervention from the Transport Minister for the second year in a row following a spat in 2018 that resulted in the State Government stepping in.
"The Responsible Ministers for Queensland Rail have issued a Direction to the Board, under the Act, to not proceed with performance payments for 2018/19," Mr Marchant said in a statement.
"The Board will accordingly action this Direction
"Of the $7.3m budget provision for management reward, approximately $2.4m has been allocated to provide free travel for our Citytrain customers for four Mondays: Monday 18 November, Monday 25 November, Monday 2 December and Monday 9 December.
"Queensland Rail will pay the normal fare revenue for these days on behalf of our customers to the Department of Transport and Main Roads."
The remaining $4.9 million will be resumed back into QR's budget. Transport Minister Mark Bailey said $2.4 million of free travel would be covered with money that had been set aside for bonuses for QR's senior managers.
"... the board supported paying $4.9 million in bonuses to about 370 eligible staff, including its executive leaders," he said of the remaining bonus cash.
"Our government did not agree with that decision and directed Queensland Rail's board to stop those payments."
Mr Marchant also signalled the end of the bonus scheme.
"The Queensland Rail Board is phasing out management performance payments," Mr Marchant said.
"The executive management team have contracted out of performance reward payments from the end of 2018/19 and senior managers are currently undertaking the process of phasing out now.
"Since March 2019 no new executive management contracts have incorporated the performance reward payment.
"This decision will bring Queensland Rail in line with many other government organisations and better align with community expectations moving forward."