The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has conducted a series of surprise audits on fast food franchise, Gami Chicken and Beer. The Gami Chicken surprise audits come after the FWO received a number of concerning requests for assistance from staff.
Stores in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth will all come under scrutiny as part of the inspection.
Sandra Parker, FWO said the Gami Chicken surprise audits were critical to ensuring network-wide compliance.
“Fair Work Inspectors are today speaking with Gami Chicken employers, managers and employees to check that workers are receiving their full wages and entitlements,” Parker said.
“We will review pay records at 19 Melbourne, Sydney and Perth stores to ensure they are complying with important pay slip laws.”
According to the FWO, more than 20 enquiries from Gami Chicken employees had been received. The requests for assistance related to issues concerning underpayment, penalty rates and failure to prove pay slips.
“Like many people working in the fast food sector, Gami Chicken and Beer staff are potentially vulnerable due to their age, cultural background or visa status. It is important for us to talk with these workers on the ground so they are aware of their workplace rights and that we can help them,” Parker said.
“Australia’s minimum pay rates are not negotiable and employers in the fast food, restaurant and café sector should actively check that they are paying their staff correctly. Franchisors must also take responsibility for ensuring that their franchisees are complying with workplace laws.”
The Gami Chicken surprise audits follow a consistent pattern for the FWO and other regulatory bodies. In February, the ACCC announced it would be clamping down on fast food franchise compliance.
Despite representing just seven per cent of the workforce, the FWO revealed that the hospitality industry accounted for 18 per cent of workplace disputes recorded, a third of court actions and almost 40 per cent f all anonymous reports. In total, more than $4m was recovered by the FWO for workers from fast food, restaurant and café businesses.
“We are committed to improving workplace compliance in the hospitality industry, and have a range of free tools to help small businesses understand their obligations,” Parker said.
“Businesses can call our Small Business Helpline, access our Pay and Conditions Tool, set up a My account profile or complete an Online Learning Course.”