Improved compliance for food franchisor

Improved compliance for food franchisor

The Fair Work Ombudsman has published a report on its compliance partnership with Retail Zoo Pty Ltd, which owns the Boost Juice, Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill and Cibo Espresso retail food brands.

Retail Zoo signed a proactive compliance deed after initiating contact with the FWO in 2014, and committed to a range of measures aimed at improving workplace compliance across its network.

Retail Zoo conducted a self-audit involving 60 stores (20 per cent of its network) and 196 employees in the first years of the partnership. The company identified and rectified 19 breaches of workplace laws, leading to recoveries totalling $29,224 for workers.

The partnership has led to enhanced education of franchisees about their workplace obligations, improved monitoring of franchisee recruitment processes and the introduction of an employee hotline.

Over the partnership, the number of requests for assistance received by the Fair Work Ombudsman involving Retail Zoo declined from 11 in the first year to one in the third. Retail Zoo resolved all matters, recovering $16,337 in underpayments for nine employees.

Over subsequent years, Retail Zoo voluntarily conducted further self-audits and reported that the percentage of breaches decreased with each self-audit.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said the results highlighted the importance of franchisor oversight.

“It is clearly in a franchisor’s best interest to proactively promote compliance with workplace laws across its network. Recent law changes mean that franchisors can be held liable for workplace breaches by their franchisees.”

“The hospitality industry continues to be a key focus for the Fair Work Ombudsman as it employs a significant proportion of vulnerable workers, including young people and migrants. Any workers with concerns should contact us for assistance,” Ms Parker said.

Employers and employees seeking assistance from the Fair Work Ombudsman can visit www.fairwork.gov.au or contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94. An interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50.

More than 550 outlets operate under Retail Zoo’s brands, most as franchises. Boost Juice is the majority brand in the network, comprising 260 stores in Australia and a further 215 stores internationally.

The activity report is available at www.fairwork.gov.au.

Follow the Fair Work Ombudsman @fairwork_gov_au or find us on Facebook www.facebook.com/fairwork.gov.au

Improved compliance for food franchisor