7 Eleven

In light of the recent election results, the Coalition is set to make dramatic changes to businesses engaging in wage fraud. With $20 million worth of funding, the Coalition is set to introduce a policy which will clamp down on wage fraud nationally, alongside new penalties which will be 10 times higher than the current maximum penalty for underpayment of workers.

Although the new policies will be applied to all businesses across Australia, they are also being implemented to directly target the convenience store giant, 7-Eleven, who were found guilty of systematic wage fraud.

This election policy package was announced only days after 7-Eleven sacked the head of the independent panel who was assessing the company’s wage fraud claims after the company decided to take assessment “in-house”. The CEO of 7-Eleven supports and defends these actions of the company.

The new penalties for employers who are found to intentionally underpay employees will be 10 times higher than the current maximum penalties which are presently $10,800 for individuals and $54,000 for corporations. In an effort to crack down on the franchise industry, there will also be newly created penalties designed to hold franchises accountable for failing to deal with any wage abuse or exploitation within their stores.

As a result of the Coalition’s re-election, the government will give the Fair Work Ombudsman power to gather evidence, akin to the power held by the ACCC, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Taxation Office. Another penalty will also be introduced for those obstructing Fair Work inspectors and providing false or misleading information.

These new penalties act as a wake-up call to all businesses who are currently underpaying or exploiting employees.

For further information on what you should be paying your employees please contact the National Retail Association and speak to one of our Workplace Advisors on 1800 RETAIL (738 245).