Hall of Shame — 7-Eleven

7-Eleven brought large scale non-compliance to national attention with a Fair Work Ombudsman investigation that started in 2014.  Not only was there evidence of underpayments but fraudulent records were kept by the franchisees.

A franchise system meant that individual stores were the employers and liable for any sanctions for breaching workplace laws.  The corporate brand as a franchisor was immune from prosecution as 7-Eleven was not the employer.

The conciliatory approach that was adopted by the Fair Work Ombudsman in this case failed due to 7-Eleven failing to cooperate with any program intended to bring about a culture of compliance.

A 7-Eleven internal survey in 2015 indicated that 69 percent of franchisees had payroll issues, including fraud.

A large number of employees on working visas also hampered the investigation as employees were too scared to speak for fear of deportation.

The amount of stolen wages in the 7-Eleven scandal has been estimated at more than $110 million.

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