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La Porchetta pay under review

Money, dollar, notes,pay, wagesDozens of employees at La Porchetta pizza outlets across Australia will have their pay packets reviewed to ensure they are receiving their full entitlements.

La Porchetta Franchising has agreed to self audit the records of a third of its 65 Australian stores to check that workers are receiving their proper wages and conditions.

Self-audits will be conducted at 24 stores over the next three years, with a mix of permanent and casual employees involved in the review.

La Porchetta has agreed to work with franchisees to facilitate prompt back-payment where any issues are identified.

The outcomes will also be reported to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The company will conduct follow-up inquiries of any stores with underpayment issues within six months.

La Porchetta has agreed to the actions as part of a Proactive Compliance Deed (PCD) with the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has received a number of complaints relating to La Porchetta stores in recent years.

Earlier this month, the operators of two La Porchetta restaurants were fined a total of $334,818 following an investigation and litigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The Fair Work Ombudsman found that 111 mostly teenage employees – one as young as 13 – had been underpaid a total of $258,000 between 2009 and 2012 when they worked at La Porchetta franchise outlets at Pakenham and Berwick.

The companies which operate the restaurants – Bound for Glory Enterprises and Zillion Zenith International- have each been fined $139,507.50.

Ruby Chand, the owner of both franchises, has been penalised a further $55,803.

The Federal Circuit Court also ordered the two companies to back pay more than $79,000 in outstanding entitlements to those employees not yet fully reimbursed.

Under the terms of the Deed announced today, La Porchetta has agreed to provide new franchisees with employment induction training and employment packs covering key aspects of workplace laws.

All franchisees will also get annual updates on wage obligations.

Further, an employee liaison officer has been appointed to deal specifically with any new complaints from workers about their entitlements.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has agreed to refer any new complaints it receives to La Porchetta to allow the company to liaise with franchisees and resolve them at the workplace level.

It has, however, reserved the right to investigate matters considered to be serious or in the public interest.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James,  acknowledged the company’s positive and co-operative approach, saying it showed corporate responsibility to a large number of employees.

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