Media release

1 May 2011

McDonald’s pay packet audit an Australian first 

The 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.

The review is in line with McDonald’s 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.

Mr Wilson says all McDonald’s employees have been advised of the program via the company’s intranet site.

All McDonald’s staff have also been invited to contact a workplace relations hotline should there be a 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.

Download: Pro-Active Complaince Deed McDonald's Australia (pdf 1.5MB) pdf icon 


Excerpts from ABC Inside Business interview with Nicholas Wilson:

Audio: Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson

Transcript: And what we would like to do is to see if there might be other organisations interested as well in the future, because I think what it enables them to do is to say to their workers that look, we do want to do the right thing and we're going to prove that to you.  That's ultimately a beneficial thing for all concerned.

Download audio: MP3 243KB  15sec

Audio: Fair Work Ombudsman Nicholas Wilson

Transcript: All of us want to work for a business where people value us coming to work, and obviously we have a large number of casual employees who are young workers that might be with their family or their parents or guardians want that assurance as well.  So if you want to be an employer of choice of course this is one way that you can demonstrate to your community, not just the employees but maybe their family as well, that in fact you are exercising that responsibility.  You might have to show that you can pay people properly and that there aren't problems, that your relatives or kids or yourself won't be subject to exploitation.

Download audio: MP3 539KB 34sec

Audio: Fair Work Ombudsman

Transcript: So what we're trying to do here is to find ways that compliance can be achieved in different ways and those different ways are going to be situational according to the kind of business and also of course our view about how deep seated the breach may have been.

Download audio: MP3  243KB 15sec

Media inquiries:

Ryan Pedler, Senior Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902

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Page last updated: 01 May 2011