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Findings

The Activity identified the following:

  • the Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010 (modern award) covered the workplace entitlements of employees performing the role of console operators
  • United Petroleum franchisees and commission agents underpaid employees a total of $9186.47 during the Activity Period. These underpayments (which have since been rectified) resulted from United Petroleum franchisees and commission agents applying a flat rate of pay for all hours worked and incorrectly applying modern award penalty rates (in particular weekend and overtime penalties)
  • five United Petroleum franchisees and commission agents (two in Victoria, one in South Australia and two in Queensland) were compliant with the FW Act and modern award
  • one United Petroleum commission agent did not engage any employees
  • five United Petroleum franchisees and commission agents (two in New South Wales, two in Victoria and one in South Australia) were non-compliant with the FW Act and modern award
  • one of the non-compliant franchisees employed five student visa holders on a casual basis for $18.70 per hour (they were entitled to a minimum of $25.05 per hour)
  • 31 of a total of 43 employees working for franchisees and commission agents were visa holders. Their visa types were:
  • 26 of these visa holders were temporary residents external-icon.png, four were permanent residents and one had a bridging visa external-icon.png
  • 10 of Keycomp Pty Ltd’s 37 employees were visa holders. Their visa types were:
  • eight of Keycomp Pty Ltd’s 10 visa holders were temporary residents external-icon.png and two were permanent residents external-icon.png
  • Keycomp Pty Ltd underpaid three employees (one of these being a skilled temporary visa holder) a total of $2918.62 incorrectly applying modern award rates of pay, including the ordinary casual rate, weekend penalty rates and overtime penalties.1

The Activity also identified the following in relation to United Petroleum and United Petroleum Franchise:

  • head office personnel lacked any meaningful involvement or oversight of the employment practices of its franchisees and commission agents
  • senior management indicated they did not believe it was the responsibility of United Petroleum to ensure the compliance of its franchisees or commission agents with Commonwealth workplace laws
  • United Petroleum did not have any process or system in place to test whether its franchisees or commission agents were paying employees correctly or applying the modern award correctly
  • United Petroleum did not provide its franchisees or commission agents pay roll services, alerts about changes to minimum pay rates, updates on amendments to the FW Act, the modern award or any other ongoing support relating to Commonwealth workplace laws
  • United Petroleum did not provide any ongoing human resources support or services to its franchisees or commission agents
  • many franchisees and commission agents are from non-English speaking backgrounds with minimal knowledge or experience of Commonwealth workplace laws
  • many of the employees of the franchisees and commission agents are visa holders or from non-English speaking backgrounds with minimal knowledge or experience of Commonwealth workplace laws.

  1. Following the Activity, Keycomp Pty Ltd wrote to its affected employees informing them that the underpayments were inadvertent, and the result of applying a different interpretation of the modern award penalty rate provisions.