More 7-Eleven workers have spoken out about the so-called "cash back" scam, in which employees are forced to hand back part of their pay to franchisees of the convenience chain. Workers say they are being forced to pay back part of their wage to franchisees They say they were threatened with loss of jobs if pay was not handed back 7-Eleven says it does not have enough evidence to prove any allegations of wage fraud Last month the ABC broadcast covert video of a 7-Eleven employee handing money to her boss in the office of a Brisbane store. The worker said she was told by the franchisee to pay back thousands of dollars or face losing her job.
The harrowing story of Sam Pendem is typical of those caught up in the scam.
A student from India with three degrees, Pendem came to Australia in and worked at three different stores under four franchisees in the Gold Coast region. Recurring nightmare Pendem still has nightmares from his time working at 7-Eleven, where he worked long shifts of up to 16 hours without a proper break.
He was robbed twice in the space of 18 hours by a man in a balaclava brandishing a long serrated knife. Why did you give the money like? He was doing the job of two people, having to watch petrol pumps if someone drove off without paying for petrol, he footed the billserve customers, clean the store and stock shelves in a busy store all on his own.
The long hours put him in breach of his visa conditions. It gave the franchisees leverage to threaten to go to the authorities to have his visa cancelled if he complained about his salary or working conditions. Widespread underpayment The chain is owned by billionaire businessman Russell Withers and his sister Beverley Barlow and their spouses.
The siblings brought the franchise to Australia in the s. Explosive internal documents reveal that between July and August this year 7-Eleven head office reviewed the payroll compliance at stores and found that 69 stores had ongoing payroll issues. The range of apparently illegal activity by franchisees extends beyond wage fraud and includes blackmail and withholding passports and drivers licences of staff.
The documents, seen by the joint investigation, show franchisees are continuing to flout the law and are continuing to underpay staff even when caught out by the Fair Work Ombudsman. It was the third time in six years the wage regulator had conducted raids on 7-Eleven with each raid showing little improvement.
Stores raided In September last year, the wage regulator raided 20 stores in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, seizing rosters, timesheets and CCTV footage from franchisees it suspected of committing wage fraud.
The regulator found that 60 per cent of stores raided were underpaying staff. The Blacktown franchisee, Harmandeep Singh Sarkaria, said he would be defending the claim and was disappointed Fair Work had decided to litigate against him as he had been under the impression he had been cooperating with the ombudsman.
A third store in Parkville in Melbourne that was raided resulted in the franchisee agreeing to pay staff the money owed. That franchisee has since sold the Parkville store but documents show that he maintained another store in the Melbourne CBD.
It is understood this store is underpaying wages. Fair Work declined to answer questions about whether it had reviewed the second Melbourne CBD store owned by the franchisee that it had busted in September.
It is expected to release a report into 7-Eleven late this year or early next year, outlining recommendations on how to deal with the systemic wage fraud.
A spokeswoman for 7-Eleven said head office expected franchisees to meet their legal obligations and that if even one store was underpaying workers, it was one store "too many". Arsineh Houspian Half-pay scam Yet a company insider said head office had been covering up the wage fraud by scores of its franchisees for years.
A common payroll fraud employed by 7-Eleven franchisees is known as the "half-pay scam", where staff members are paid for only half the hours they work.A joint investigation into 7-Eleven stores by Four Corners and Fairfax Media has found systemic underpayment of wages and the doctoring of .
Half pay scam exposed. 7-Eleven has come under particular fire for its treatment of overseas students. Photo: Consumer advocate Michael Fraser started asking questions about staff pay at 7-Eleven. HOW 7 ELEVEN IS RIPPING OFF ITS WORKERS.
The lot of the average 7-Eleven worker in Australia is as simple as it is bleak: you get paid half the $ an hour award rate - or less - and if you.
7-Eleven Underpayment Scams Introduction Human lives are directed by course of actions and decisions. Whether its personal life or professional conduct, humans are bound to follow proper code.
The convenience store giant 7-Eleven was exposed for being complicit in wage theft worth tens of millions of dollars. The rort commonly known as the ‘half pay’ scam was first exposed by UNITE, the fighting union for fast food . After the 7-Eleven underpayment was exposed, other franchises came under scrutiny, including Caltex, Pizza Hut and Domino’s.
Just as at 7-Eleven, Fairfax Media found some Caltex workers were being paid less than half the legal wage.