Convenience store chain 7-Eleven has been forced to pay more than $173 million to thousands of underpaid workers.
Convenience store chain 7-Eleven has been forced to pay more than $173 million to thousands of underpaid workers.

7-Eleven pays back millions to staff

Convenience store chain 7-Eleven has back paid $173.6 million in wages, interest and superannuation to 4043 employees following an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The probe found the franchisees deliberately falsified records to disguise underpayment of wages, and 7-Eleven did not adequately detect or address noncompliance.

Eleven court cases were brought against 7-Eleven franchisees, resulting in more than $1.8 million in fines, including for unlawful cashback schemes and flat rates.

The back payments were made between September 2015 and February this year.

7-Eleven has made significant changes in the past few years. Picture: Stuart Milligan
7-Eleven has made significant changes in the past few years. Picture: Stuart Milligan

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said 7-Eleven had made substantial improvements to its systems under a compliance partnership.

It includes a biometric time-recording system whereby employees clock in and out with a thumbprint, which is cross-checked against employee facial recognition images and store rosters.

Other changes include the requirement that staff be paid electronically, an internal investigations unit and compulsory online training on employment conditions for new staff.

"7-Eleven has implemented extensive hi-tech systems, training and employee assistance programs across its business," Ms Parker said in a statement on Friday.

"The franchisor has delivered on its commitment to address past breaches by its franchisees and lead a network that meets its lawful obligations to workers.

"We will continue to monitor compliance in 7-Eleven outlets and encourage head office to consider entering into a second compliance partnership to ensure ongoing accountability."

There are more than 700 7-Eleven stores across NSW, Victoria, Queensland, WA and the ACT.

Originally published as 7-Eleven pays back millions to staff



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