7-Eleven’s Wage Repayment Program (WRP) will close to new applicants on 31 January 2017, but will continue to process all claims received by this date. 7-Eleven encourages any former or current Franchisee Employees who believe they have not been paid their full entitlements to come forward by 31 January 2017 and submit their claim to the Secretariat on 1800 619 802 or wagerepaymentprogram.com.au. In order for any claim to be assessed, claimants need to provide the Secretariat a simple completed template outlining the hours that they are claiming together with certified ID and proof of address. The template is available via the WRP website.
Wage repayment claims from 1 February 2017 may be lodged with our 7-Eleven Employee Helpline on 1800 711 243, via email at 7ElevenHelpline@erstrategies.com.au, or online at 7eleven.com.au/employee-helplines.
As agreed in our Proactive Compliance Deed with the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), all wage claims from 1 February 2017 will be directed to 7-Eleven’s Internal Investigation Unit (IIU), where they will be processed following similar principles and methodology as the WRP, with two main differences:
- In order to investigate allegations of underpayment or serious non-compliance, the IIU may – with the consent of the claimant – disclose information, including the identity of the claimant, to third parties including the Franchisee or FWO. Where the withholding of consent impacts the ability of 7-Eleven to investigate or substantiate the allegation or recover the underpaid wages, the claimant will be informed.
- Where underpayment has been reasonably substantiated, the Franchisee will be required to rectify the underpayment within 30 days. Where the Franchisee fails to rectify the underpayment, 7-Eleven will make an ex-gratia payment to the claimant to rectify the underpayment. However, if the underpayment arose from conduct akin to ‘cash-back’, the Employee was required to perform work at places other than 7-Eleven, or misuse of 7-Eleven’s systems such as failing to record hours, 7-Eleven will not be required to make an ex-gratia payment unless the claim was lodged within 90 days of the claimant becoming aware of or participating in the alleged behavior.
These conditions, agreed with the FWO, seek to encourage claimants to come forward quickly and assist 7-Eleven’s investigation and potential action, and ensure that Franchisees bear full responsibility for any substantiated wage fraud.
7-Eleven’s voluntary wage repayment initiatives have to date approved almost $59 million to nearly 1,500 claimants. These initiatives have now been operating for a total of 17 months. In that time, more than 15,000 former and current 7-Eleven Franchisee Employees have been contacted a minimum of 16 times each via email and SMS. Several of these direct messages have encouraged recipients to share the information and encourage anyone they know who may have been underpaid at a 7-Eleven franchise to submit a claim.
Additionally a number of public calls have been made over the past 17 months raising awareness of 7-Eleven’s wage repayment initiatives and encouraging potential claimants to come forward. These include posters in the front and back offices of all stores, consultation sessions in four cities, several media releases and social media posts, and advertisements in local and international media encouraging claimants to come forward.
Our commitment to remediating past underpaid wages remains absolute. This evolution of our approach is designed to ensure prompt and thorough investigation of claims, and that any Franchisee found to be committing wage fraud bears the full responsibility of their actions.