All 7-Eleven wage claims from February 1 will be directed to the retailer’s Internal Investigation Unit (IIU) with the wage repayment program (WRP) to close on January 31.
7-Eleven says the IIU will follow similar principles and methodology to the WRP, with two main differences:
- “In order to investigate allegations of underpayment or serious non-compliance, the IIU may – with the consent of the claimant – disclose information, including the identity of the claimant, to third parties including the franchisee or Fair Work Ombudsman [FWO]. Where the withholding of consent impacts the ability of 7-Eleven to investigate or substantiate the allegation or recover the underpaid wages, the claimant will be informed.”
- “Where underpayment has been reasonably substantiated, the franchisee will be required to rectify the underpayment within 30 days. Where the franchisee fails to rectify the underpayment, 7-Eleven will make an ex-gratia payment to the claimant to rectify the underpayment. However, if the underpayment arose from conduct akin to ‘cash-back’, the employee was required to perform work at places other than 7-Eleven, or misuse of 7-Eleven’s systems, such as failing to record hours, 7-Eleven will not be required to make an ex-gratia payment unless the claim was lodged within 90 days of the claimant becoming aware of or participating in the alleged behaviour.”
7-Eleven said in a statement that these conditions, agreed with the FWO, “seek to encourage claimants to come forward quickly and assist 7-Eleven’s investigation and potential action, and ensure that franchisees bear full responsibility for any substantiated wage fraud”.
The statement continued: “Our commitment to remediating past underpaid wages remains absolute. This evolution of our approach is designed to ensure prompt and thorough investigation of claims, and that any franchisee found to be committing wage fraud bears the full responsibility of their actions.”
In the past 17 months, 7-Eleven’s voluntary wage repayment initiatives have approved repayments of almost $59 million to nearly 1,500 claimants.
Former or current franchisee employees who believe they have not been paid their full entitlements are encouraged to come forward. Claims can be submitted to the Secretariat on 1800 619 802 or wagerepaymentprogram.com.au until January 31. From February 1, claims may be lodged with the 7-Eleven Employee Helpline on 1800 711 243, via email at 7ElevenHelpline@erstrategies.com.au, or online at 7eleven.com.au/employee-helplines.