Hungry Jacks outlet fined for short-changing staff

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 11th January 2012

The operator of a Hungry Jacks fast food outlet at Bendigo, in Victoria, has been fined AU$46,200 after the Fair Work Ombudsman found it had been underpaying its 180-strong workforce for more than four years.

The Federal Magistrates Court in Melbourne imposed the penalty against Chamdale Pty Ltd, which operate the Hungry Jacks outlet.

Federal Magistrate Norah Hartnett found the company had underpaid 180 workers – mostly juniors, including some school-based apprentices – a total of AU$104,946 between July 2055 and December 2009.

The largest individual underpayment was AU$8,218. 29 employees were underpaid more than AU$1,000.

Most of the underpayments were the result of Chamdale failing to provide the classification and pay-rate upgrades the employees were entitled to based on length of service.

This resulted in underpayment of the minimum hourly rate, overtime and public holiday penalty rates. The company also underpaid or failed to pay annual leave entitlements and a laundry allowance.

Federal Magistrate Hartnett said there was a need to send a message to the community at large, and employers particularly, that the correct entitlements for employees must be paid and that steps must be taken by employers of all sizes to ascertain and comply with minimum entitlements.

Mr Wilson said the Fair Work Ombudsman would shortly launch a dedicated webpage to assist the franchise sector, with useful information and resources aimed at franchisors and franchisees.