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7-Eleven Stores Pty Ltd has welcomed the report of the Fair Work Ombudsman into its Franchisee network

7-Eleven Stores Pty Ltd has welcomed the report of the Fair Work Ombudsman into its Franchisee network and believes it will help strengthen the company’s efforts to ensure best practice across all facets of the company.

7-Eleven accepts the Report’s findings in full and over the coming months will seek to implement any additional changes deemed necessary to give effect to the recommendations, including entering into a compliance partnership with FWO.

Chief Executive Angus McKay said “7-Eleven and our franchisees acknowledge the contribution the FWO Report will make to further inform and strengthen our Strategic Reform Program as we strive to be the best business we can be.

“7-Eleven does not condone any failure to meet workplace rights and obligations, particularly the underpayment of Franchisee employees. As part of the Strategic Reform Program we have made significant investments to implement an identification, investigative, deterrence and sanction regime across our business to eradicate any such failures.

“A special investigations unit, store audits, improved time and attendance processes, which will soon be replaced by a biometric system, and a compulsory centralised payroll system form the core of our approach to ensuring 7-Eleven is a business that exceeds customer, community and regulatory expectations,” Mr McKay said.

7-Eleven Chairman, Michael Smith, said “we have readily and willingly accepted the Report because what it advocates is aligned with many of the reforms that 7-Eleven has already initiated.

“The Report gives us confidence that we are on the right track with our reforms and the commitment to continuous improvement across our entire business, including the relationships with our Franchisees, and the need to reform the Franchise Codes.

“7-Eleven has long believed the Codes have not kept pace with the changing face of the Industry generally and change is required to ensure they provide clear and appropriate deterrence and sanction mechanisms that drive ethical behaviour.

 “Such reform is crucial for the franchise industry if it is to continue to grow and have the on-going support, confidence and goodwill of customers and the community.

“7-Eleven is leaving no stone unturned in the pursuit of lasting solutions not only for itself, but as an exemplar of reform for Industry more broadly because the challenges we are overcoming are widespread across the Australian industrial relations landscape.

“A crucial part of ensuring we succeed in eradicating and preventing activities that deprive individuals of their rights and entitlements and positioning 7-Eleven as an industry leader in reform is a co-operative effort between the company and the FWO.

“To that end, the Chief Executive Officer and I are continuing negotiations with the Fairwork Ombudsman to conclude the finer details a Compliance Partnership that takes account of the principles contained in this report and which we want for our business,” Mr. Smith said

Mr. McKay said “7-Eleven and its Franchisees having negotiated a new agreement are committed to ensuring stores are fair, effective, efficient and good places to work. 

“There are no winners in circumstances where people are underpaid. Everybody is impacted, including those Franchisees who are meeting their obligations and doing the right thing.

“Significant progress has been made in respect to governance and compliance across our network of stores. 7-Eleven is entrenching as a matter of principle a culture of continuous improvement, which recognises the ever changing nature of the industrial landscape and the need to be ever vigilant when it comes to upholding workplace rights and entitlements.

“I am pleased to have the absolute support and commitment of the Chairman, the Board and the shareholders to drive change across our business in the interests of our employees, our franchise partners, their employees and our customers,” Mr McKay said.