7-Eleven appoints specialist investigator

7-Eleven Stores Pty Ltd has strengthened its investigative and compliance capability with the appointment of a specialist investigator.

The investigator, who has a law-enforcement background looking into criminal and fraudulent activity, is tasked with undertaking inquiries into any suspected serious breaches of workplace obligations, putting the company in a position to act as quickly as possible in cases where breaches have clearly occurred.

“The appointment of the investigator adds an additional layer to 7-Eleven’s compliance protocols, which include store audits, enhanced payroll, timesheet and rostering procedures as well as refreshed training and education for franchisees and their employees,” 7-Eleven interim CEO Bob Baily said.

“7-Eleven does not condone the failure to meet workplace obligations, including the underpayment of employees by franchisees, and these measures demonstrate our ongoing commitment to stamping out such practices.”

Last year, the company appointed economist, lawyer and public servant Professor Allan Fels to chair an independent panel to specifically identify underpaid workers and the quantum owed.

To assist the panel in encouraging claimants to come forward, 7-Eleven has also established a whistleblower hotline for complaints or claims to be made without fear of retribution.

“The company is making significant progress towards satisfactory remediation and prevention, but we recognise there’s more work to be done,” 7-Eleven Chairman Michael Smith said.

“As Chairman, I’m sorry for the circumstances and the fact of franchisee employee underpayments and I’m sorry that those workers have been subjected to it.

“What has occurred is unacceptable and abhorrent and we’re building capability internally and utilising external expertise to rectify the impacts of what has occurred and prevent them from happening again.”

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