7-Eleven has committed to a compliance deed with the Fair Work Ombudsman, which will see the convenience chain implement a range of measures aimed at stamping out unlawful practices across its franchises.
The chain has signed a Proactive Compliance Deed with the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO).
7-Eleven entered into the deed voluntarily, as part of its ongoing cooperation with the regulator and commitment to transparency through the reform process.
The deed includes a multi-million dollar investment into store level technology that centrally records and captures time and attendance records for all employees through biometric (thumbprint) sign-on and sign-off. It also includes the centralising of payroll and implementing oversight and other monitoring measures to ensure payroll non-compliance is more easily able to be identified.
“Our resolve is unquestionable,” said Angus McKay, CEO, 7-Eleven.
“7-Eleven immediately fronted up and owned the issue of wage underpayment in our network of franchised stores and we have invested in industry-leading initiatives internally to ensure correct wages are paid, voluntarily paying almost $57 million to more than 1400 claimants to date, and proposed a range of policy reforms to raise the standard across the franchising industry.”
“I have consistently said we want to be judged on our actions. We’ll continue to report transparently on our progress as we seek to be the exemplar of a solution to a problem that is regrettably broader than our network.”
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said the commitments in the deed would help prevent the unlawful practices identified in the regulator’s April 2016 Inquiry Report, and also increase accountability across the entire franchise network.
“The measures in this deed are the most robust and comprehensive that any franchise brand has in place in Australia,” she said.
“The goal is to make sure franchisees pay workers correctly in the first place.
“As we noted in our Inquiry report, non-compliance in this network has been long term, extensive and systemic. Some franchisees have demonstrated they will go to extreme lengths to circumvent record keeping systems. The deed establishes a framework for 7-Eleven to detect, investigate and rectify underpayments within its network now and into the future. It also maintains commitments to backpay workers underpaid in the past.”