FWO recovers $81K in unpaid wages for Subway staff

Eighteen stores reportedly failed to pay minimum wage and to issue the correct payslip

FWO recovers $81K in unpaid wages for Subway staff

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has recouped thousands of dollars in unpaid wages owed to employees of the fast food outlet Subway.

The agency recovered more than $81,600 in back pay for 167 workers, with unpaid wages going as far back as 2017. Investigators looked into franchises in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria after receiving reports of store owners underpaying staff.

The FWO found 18 of the 22 stores they probed had failed to pay minimum wages and entitlements such as holiday and overtime pay, and to issue the correct payslip.

This is also not the first time a franchise owner has been charged with underpayment. In March, HRD Australia reported a Subway store owner had unlawfully paid a staff member about $14 per hour for work performed at two outlets.

READ MORE: Subway outlets underpaid worker more than $16K

The rate was well below the $18+ per hour minimum the worker was entitled to receive under the Fast Food Industry Award 2010. The Federal Circuit Court imposed a penalty of more than $65,400 on the franchise owner.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker expressed concern over these practices, which tend to exploit workers who may be unaware of their rights or afraid to voice their issues with their employer.

“Franchisors can be held legally responsible if their franchisee stores don't follow workplace laws. They must take reasonable steps to prevent this occurring,” Parker said.

“The community expects head companies to assure themselves that all the stores in their franchise network are paying workers their correct wages and entitlements.”

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