United Petroleum has been blasted by the Fair Work Ombudsman after it has been revealed that they had underpaid almost 50 of their workers across a number of their outlets.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has released a report which revealed that more than 40% of the United Petroleum outlets audited were underpaying employees.
“Five outlets (representing more than 40% of the 11 outlets with employees) were non-compliant with Fair Work Laws and the relevant award, the Vehicle Manufacturing, Repair, Services and Retail Award 2010,” the report states.
In total, the report asserts that workers were underpaid more than $20,000.
The underpayment occurred due to United Petroleum franchisees, commission agents and Keycomp (a group which staffed one outlet) wrongly giving flat pay rates and incorrectly applying penalty rates.
The Ombudsman also asked United Petroleum to conduct their own audit, which revealed even more underpaid employees.
“At the request of the Fair Work Ombudsman, United Petroleum then conducted an audit of all Keycomp console operates. This audit found that a further 27 employees were owed $8,445.74 in underpayments.”
According to Acting Fair Work Ombudsman Michael Campbell, many of those who were underpaid were migrant workers.
“During our Activity we found that a significant number of the contraventions identified involved migrant workers. We know that migrant workers, especially student visa holders, can be vulnerable if they are not fully aware of their workplace rights and they are often reluctant to complain,” said Mr Campbell.
The findings from the report have convinced the Ombudsman that they may need to widen their investigation, despite reassurances from United Petroleum.
“United Petroleum has advised the Fair Work Ombudsman that Keycomp Pty Ltd no longer employs any console operators at any of its fuel outlets. However the Fair Work Ombudsman is still considering expanding its investigation into the compliance history of Keycomp Pty Ltd,” a statement from the auditor read.