KFC workers ‘no worse off’ despite forgoing weekend penalty rates

by HRD25 Aug 2017
Despite KFC workers not being paid weekend penalty rates in years, the company is arguing employees are not worse off because of an agreement offering a higher base rate of pay.

Senator Nick Xenophon said at a Senate Committee hearing in Melbourne that the deal was not a good one for employees.

"It's impossible for a KFC worker who works nights and weekends to not be worse off, as there are no penalty rates," he said.

HRD contacted KFC for comment and a spokesperson said KFC pays penalty rates – double time – on public holidays.

“On other days our base rates are 9% above the base rates in the Fast Food Award no matter what day a team member is working to ensure they have both equity and flexibility in their rostered work days,” said the spokesperson.

“This helps many of our young employees continue with their education whilst gaining valuable employment opportunities.”

Moreover, KFC chief people officer Robert Phipps added that the approach allows flexibility and fairness for employees.

"We haven't paid penalty rates in a very long time ... coming up to about eight years we haven't paid Sunday penalty rates," he said.

This means that no matter what day of the week employees are able to do their shifts, all get the same remuneration, he said.

KFC currently has an enterprise agreement with the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association in place where workers are paid a nine per cent loading on top of the base rate.

The fast food giant is one of a number of large employers giving evidence to the committee.

The aim of the inquiry is to see if large companies benefit by employing workers on an enterprise agreement that have lower penalty rates on weekends and public holidays than those set by the standard award.

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