To date, the FWO has issued:
- one Enforceable Undertaking upon AAR DEE Traders Pty Ltd trading as United Petroleum Pooraka (South Australia) for underpaying employees’ minimum casual hourly rate for hours worked Monday to Friday
- one Enforceable Undertaking upon E TANNOUS & V TANNOUS trading as United Petroleum Waterloo (New South Wales) for underpaying employees’ minimum casual hourly rate for hours worked Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday
- two Compliance Notices to a United Petroleum franchisee and United Petroleum commission agent for underpaying employees’ minimum casual hourly rate for hours worked Monday to Friday. This resulted in full rectification to a number of employees
- two Letters of Caution were also issued to the above United Petroleum franchisee and Commission agent requiring them to change their non-compliant behaviours and ensure future compliance
- one Letter of Caution to a United Petroleum commission agent for underpaying part-time employees’ minimum ordinary hourly rate, evening and night shift penalties, Saturday and Sunday penalties and overtime rates.
In August 2016, the FWO offered senior management of United Petroleum who were responsible for operating Keycomp Pty Ltd an Enforceable Undertaking in relation to the latter’s underpayment contraventions. This offer was declined on the basis that Keycomp Pty Ltd was no longer an operating entity. In response, the FWO sought additional evidence from Keycomp Pty Ltd to confirm it was no longer operating and that the underpayments to the three console operators identified during the Activity Period were rectified.
In addition, the FWO sought more information as to what measures had been undertaken by United Petroleum to review and rectify any potential underpayment of wages of Keycomp Pty Ltd employees falling outside of the Activity Period.
While the FWO had received correspondence from United Petroleum confirming that the three console operators have received their due payments, the FWO sought further information concerning any outstanding entitlements owing to the remaining 34 employees. United Petroleum has subsequently conducted an audit of the remaining 34 employees and committed to rectifying a total of $8445.74 owed to 27 console operators. These underpayments particularly relate to weekend and overtime penalties. The FWO is awaiting confirmation that all of the employees have received monies owed.
In the event the FWO is not satisfied that this issue has been adequately addressed, it will consider expanding its investigation into the compliance history of Keycomp Pty Ltd, including the potential involvement of its Directors in any contraventions. United Petroleum has been advised of this in writing.
In December 2015 and again in August 2016, the FWO invited United Petroleum to enter into a formal Compliance Partnership 1. United Petroleum initially advised that it was open to discussing the opportunity of entering into a formal Compliance Partnership at a later time. Since then, the new Chief Executive Officer of United Petroleum (who commenced in November 2016), has entered into discussions with the FWO about systems and processes that can be implemented to ensure compliance and third party approved self-audits.
The FWO recognises any compliance partnership needs to reflect United Petroleum’s proposed future business model which may not involve franchise agreements.
The FWO notes that United Petroleum recently commissioned Michael Wyles QC to conduct a full review of all of United Petroleum’s compliance practices including a draft pro-active compliance deed which has been offered by the FWO and would underpin any compliance partnership.
- Compliance partnerships are popular with businesses who wish to make a strong and public commitment to their employees, contractors, customers and the broader community about compliance with workplace laws – for more information see #4 of the FWO’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy