Short changed 7-Eleven staff back paid almost $10 million

By Sarah Stowe | 30 Mar 2016 View comments

7-Eleven workers have been compensated almost $10 million after the Fels Wage Fairness Panel found revelations of widespread underpayment across the franchise network.  

ACCC chairman profession Allan Fels heads up the panel, which received almost 3000 claims of short changed foreign exchange students. In a report by Fairfax Media, claims stack up to an equivalent average payout of $33,284.

Some staff members were remunerated as little as $10 an hour, and threatened with deportation, some beaten, and other forced to pay up for visas.

"I strongly encourage 7-Eleven to stay vigilant and keep holding franchisees to account," said Fels.

The payout development comes days after a senate inquiry into foreign workers on visas released a 373-page report recommending that Treasury and the ACCC conduct a review of the Franchising Code of Conduct to investigate whether franchisors should take some responsibility if their franchisees are exploiting workers.

7-Eleven recently appointed CEO Angus McKay who took over from interim chief executive Bob Baily. McKay has his work cut out for him in the wake of the convenience chain’s underpayment dramas.

The national minimum wage and the National Employment Standards (NES) comprise of the minimum entitlements for employees in Australia. All employees in the national workplace relations system are covered by the NES regardless of the award, registered agreement or employment contract in place.