Caltex – not another 7-Eleven

Caltex Australia has firmly condemned wage fraud in a strongly worded in a press release, noting “Caltex requires every one of its more than 300 franchisees to comply with the law”.

This morning Faifax reported that “some petrol station workers are being paid in cash, as little as $12 an hour, and sleeping in beds at the back of the store when their shift ends”, prompted the company to confirm that it “does not tolerate any unlawful activity – including deliberate underpayment of workers – anywhere in its network.”

In late 2015, in the wake of franchisee wage fraud at franchised convenience retailer, 7-Eleven, Caltex commenced its own independent investigations to determine whether any of the company’s franchisees were breaching Australian workplace laws.

Since November 2015, the company has worked with the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) providing it with regular updates as to the investigation. Caltex says that it has continued to communicate with franchisees to further remind them of their obligations to their employees, Caltex and the FWO.

In the past 12 months, Caltex has terminated five franchisees for fraudulent or deceptive behaviour. The company says that if other franchisees are found to be breaking the law or their agreement with Caltex, it will not hesitate to terminate the franchisee relationship.

As one of the largest franchisors in Australia, Caltex has a franchised network of more than 650 sites, with independently manage wages, conditions, rostering and hiring in accordance with the relevant awards.

According to Caltex, the company’s franchise system is structured to provide fair returns for franchisees, with financial and practical support mechanisms where possible to ensure their sustainability. Further, the Caltex franchise system is characterised by clear obligations on franchisees to comply with all legal regulations and obligations.

Of the Caltex network, the company has visibility of and responsibility for wages at about 5 per cent (85 stores) of the approximately 1900 Caltex-branded or affiliated sites around Australia. At these stores, the company states “all Caltex employees are paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement”.

Caltex has recently expressed interest in acquiring the Woolworths business, however these sites and other resellers carrying the Caltex brand are currently managed entirely independently of Caltex.

For the unedited Caltex Australia Press Release click here.

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