7-Eleven staff ‘hand cash back’

Sarah Stowe

Troubled convenience chain 7-Eleven hits headlines with claims workers at a Brisbane-based store had to ‘hand back up to half of their pay’.

One of the employees at a Brisbane outlet says she was initially paid the full award rate of $25 then told to hand back $11 per hour to her boss in cash, known in the industry as a “cash back” scheme.

“My bosses say they can’t afford to pay the government rate,” a worker said in a report by Inside Retail.

“That’s why they ask us to give some of the money back.”

Hidden footage broadcast on the ABC on Monday shows employees at a Brisbane 7-Eleven being forced to hand back their pay.

7-Eleven said it is appalled by the allegations raised by the ABC regarding potential wage fraud at a Brisbane store, and called on the ABC to share any information it has to assist its investigation.

“There should be no doubt that we have zero tolerance of wage fraud,” said CEO Angus McKay.

“We have aggressively investigated the claims since they were shared with us last week. If they are proven, we will act upon any illegal franchisee activity, up to and including termination of their franchise agreement.

“Until they are proven or otherwise, it is unfair to jump to conclusions.

“Our commitment to stamping out these practices within our franchised network of stores, and to repaying staff members found to have been disadvantaged, is absolute.”

The revelations come as a Brisbane-based franchisee faces $10,200 in fines for alleged underpayments and attempts to cover it up.

Find out what franchisors can do about workplace compliance.