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SDA: Withholding rest breaks has become “systemic” at McDonald’s

McDonald’s Australia saw strong growth due to drive-thru.

Another McDonald’s franchisee is facing Federal Court after allegedly denying its workers paid rest and drinks breaks over the past six years – an issue the Shops, Distributive and Allied Employee’s Association is now claiming is “systemic” across the business and not the actions of rogue franchisees.

The SDA has launched proceedings against Victorian franchisee Liesary Pty Ltd, which operates three stores across the state, on the grounds it deliberately withheld its workers’ rights from them.

It is the seventh McDonald’s franchisee to be targeted across Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Western Australia, and may not be the last: The SDA said it has collected hundreds of formal statements from past and present McDonald’s employees.

“It’s shameful that one of the biggest employers of young Australians have deliberately been denying basic entitlements to thousands of workers,” said SDA Victoria Secretary Michael Donovan.

“Paid rest and drinks breaks are a right. McDonald’s can’t pick and choose what entitlements workers receive, they have to follow the law or face the consequences.

“It’s [become] clear this issue is systemic and widespread across the nation.”

The SDA is seeking thousands of dollars in compensation for affected workers, and is asking the Court to award penalties against the franchisee.

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