7-Eleven Stores says it 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, to ensure the company is in a position to act as quickly as possible in cases where breaches have clearly occurred.
7-Eleven interim CEO, Bob Baily, said 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 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,” Mr Baily said.
7-Eleven says it is committed to ensuring all franchisee employees are accorded their workplace rights, and fully supports the work of the Independent Panel, headed by Professor Allan Fels, in making sure those who have been underpaid receive entitlements.
To assist the panel, 7-Eleven has also established a whistle blower hotline so complaints or claims can be made without any fear of retribution.
7-Eleven Chairman, Michael Smith, said the company is making significant progress toward satisfactory remediation and prevention, but recognises there is more work to be done.
“As Chairman I am sorry for the circumstances and the fact of franchisee employee underpayments and I am sorry that those workers have been subjected to it.
“What has occurred is unacceptable and abhorrent and we are building capability internally and utilising external expertise to rectify the impacts of what has occurred and prevent them from happening again,” Mr Smith said.