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The compliance activity

The Activity primarily focussed on assessing compliance with the following provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (the FW Act):

  • Section 44 – Contravening the National Employment Standards
  • Section 45 – Contravening a Modern Award
  • Section 535 – Employer obligations in relation to employee records
  • Section 536 – Employer obligations in relation to pay slips.

The FWO determines whether prior notification of compliance activities is warranted on a case-by-case basis. With respect to this Activity, the FWO formed the view that prior notification was a low risk to the integrity of the Activity and would assist future compliance by encouraging United Petroleum to take a greater interest and role in the compliance capability of its significant network.

On 16 September 2015 the FWO met with United Petroleum Chief Operating Officer, Senior General Counsel and Company Secretary to advise them of the proposed Activity. During this meeting it was recommended United Petroleum advise its franchisees and commission agents of the pending Activity and possible site visits. However, United Petroleum was not advised of the specific outlets to be visited or the dates and times of visits.

Despite the recommendation, when Fair Work Inspectors conducted site visits, personnel were unaware of the Activity. It did not appear that United Petroleum had alerted its franchisees or commission agents of the impending Activity.

In September 2015, Fair Work Inspectors checked 12 United Petroleum businesses. Eleven of the businesses were independently owned by franchisees and commission agents. The twelfth business was Keycomp Pty Ltd. During these checks Inspectors interviewed franchisees, agents and employees, viewed available employment records and requested records for the period from 1 July 2015 to 1 January 2016 (the Activity Period).

During the Activity Period Keycomp Pty Ltd employed a total of 37 console operators at eight outlets undergoing transition to new franchisees and commission agents.

As Keycomp Pty Ltd was providing console operators to perform work in multiple United Petroleum retail fuel outlets during the Activity Period, it was also asked to provide employment records for assessment.