Domino’s in spotlight over payment allegations

Australia’s largest pizza chain has come under fire over allegations of franchisees’ visa fraud.

Domino’s has denied any knowledge of franchisees asking employees for payments in exchange for visas but is now investigating the claims made by Fairfax Media.

The reports also put Domino’s in the spotlight over the true costs of running a franchise and underpayment of staff.

In a statement, Domino’s emphasised the 87 percent of franchisees or store managers taking on new units this year as an endorsement of its model.

In the last three years four franchisees operating seven stores have had their agreements terminated for deliberate underpayment of staff, the company said.

“There is no reason, no excuse, and no tolerance for any Domino’s franchise that chooses not to pay its employees correctly or fails to meet expectations around ethics and governance.”

The franchise chain said it has not found any link between the profitability of a franchise and breaches of employment obligations.

The company reports its half year results on Wednesday 15 February.

What are the rules around visas?

MST Lawyers’ Chao Ni, a senior associate in the workplace relations team and accredited workplace relations specialist, said migration laws introduced in 2015 apply to franchisees, franchisors and prospective employees.

“The existing migration laws prohibit a person from offering to provide, or providing, a benefit to another person in return for the occurrence of a sponsorship-related event.  

“There would also be serious consequences (including imprisonment and/or fines) for a person who asks for, or receives, a benefit from another person in return for the occurrence of a sponsorship-related event"