Maccas first in national pay packet audit

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 2nd May 2011

Big MacThe Fair Work Ombudsman and McDonald’s Australia have embarked on a new national initiative designed to ensure employee pay packets for McDonald’s 85,000-strong national workforce are accurate.

McDonald’s, in collaboration with the Fair Work Ombudsman, has set up a self-audit process to review about 8500 pay packets and correct any issues it may find, which the quick-service restaurant chain says is in line with its goal of being an employer of choice for young people, and operating its business ethically.

Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson has welcomed the company’s pro-active approach.

“We congratulate McDonald’s for showing corporate responsibility to its thousands of young and casual workers and showing leadership to the rest of the franchising industry,” he said. “Here is a company which sees more profit in great relationships with its staff – and part of building a great relationship is being able to say to workers that they have been paid every single cent they are entitled to.

“Recognising that problems may sometimes occur with payment of correct wages and entitlements, McDonald’s will be asking its franchise holders to pay careful attention to the minimum hourly rate for employees under 16 and meal allowances for overtime shifts.

“This is a terrific model for other companies, large and small, who want to be seen as a great place to work for young employees or people looking to gain foundation skills for their careers.”

McDonald’s stores participating in the review will be selected from both metropolitan and regional sites throughout Australia in consultation with the Fair Work Ombudsman. Over the next three months, the company will review time and wages records for the pay period from October 1-14, 2009 and the same period in 2010.

McDonald’s is undertaking the task voluntarily and has agreed to immediately correct any underpayments it might discover.

Wilson says all McDonald’s employees have been advised of the program via the company’s intranet site, and have also been invited to contact a workplace relations hotline if they need to report any alleged underpayment of wages or entitlements.

McDonald’s will conduct the wages review as part of a Pro-active Compliance Deed it has signed with the Fair Work Ombudsman. A report on the outcome of the review is expected by the end of August.

As part of the Deed, McDonald’s acknowledges that there are opportunities for continuous improvement in relation to its workplace practices. Under the Deed – available at – McDonald’s accepts responsibility for developing systems and processes to maintain ongoing compliance with Commonwealth workplace laws.

Employers or employees seeking assistance on workplace relations laws can contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 from 8am-6pm weekdays or visit the website.

An ‘Industries’ section on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website provides information specifically tailored for employers and workers in the fast-food industry.