The exploitation of workers within franchises have been the focus of amendments to workplace laws late last year. Franchisees who fail to comply with workplace laws can be hit with large financial penalties, with franchisors possibly held responsible for any breaches.
Domino’s Pizza franchises fail to comply with workplace laws
The Fair Work Ombudsman conducted an investigation into 33 of Domino’s Pizza stores and found that 19 of the stores across Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide have breached workplace laws. The Commission has reported systemic issues within the businesses including numerous workers being underpaid, breaches of record-keeping requirements and the failure to pay workers entitlements.
Domino’s Pizza has received 17 formal cautions, and has been put on notice that further workplace breaches may result in financial penalties.
They have further been warned that franchisors can now be found legally responsible for any franchisees who exploit vulnerable workers, under new laws introduced last year.
Franchisors can be held responsible for franchisees
On 15 September 2017 the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act 2017 came into force. The changes mean that certain franchisors and holding companies can be held legally responsible if their franchisees or subsidiaries do not follow workplace laws, they knew or should have known, and could have prevented it.
The Act has also introduced significantly higher penalties for a range of contraventions. Penalties of up to $630,000 per contravention for a company and $126,000 per contravention for an individual now apply in relation to the serious exploitation of workers.
Obtain legal advice in relation to the Fair Work Ombudsman
Our Sydney civil lawyers can provide advice in relation to the Fair Work Ombudsman including:
- Advising employers who are facing a Fair Work Ombudsman investigation. We can advise on compliance obligations and appropriate responses to Fair Work Ombudsman enquiries, or represent your business in litigation if required.
- Advising employees who want to make a complaint to the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Call us on (02) 9261 4281 to book a free initial consultation with one of our experienced civil lawyers.