Special investigator appointed by 7-Eleven

Sarah Stowe

The embattled 7-Eleven convenience store franchise 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, so 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,” Baily said.

In a statement, the convenience store business reiterated its support of the work of the independent panel headed by Professor Allan Fels, and reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring underpaid employees receive their entitlements.

7-Eleven chairman Michael Smith said the company is making significant progress toward satisfactory remediation and prevention but recognises more work needs to be done.

Smith also apologised for the wage rort that some franchisees engaged with.

“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,” Smith said.