7-Eleven is under the microscope over low pay for staff in Australia

Photo: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images.

The nation’s biggest convenience store chain is under the microscope after claims it has been paying many of its staff as little as $10 an hour before tax.

A joint investigation by ABC’s Four Corners and Fairfax into the chain’s payroll compliance found that 60 per cent of 7-Eleven franchisees raided were underpaying staff.

The payroll fraud allegedly involves workers at some franchises being forced to work for 40 hours a week for an average pay of $12 per hour while the current award rate of $24.69 per hour.

The petrol and convenience retailer released a statement expressing disappointment that “franchisees have chosen not to meet their obligations as employers”.

“We are deeply concerned about the personal impact on affected employees or former employees, and the damage such actions cause to franchisees who are trusted, reliable and responsible small business owners,” the parent company said.

“We do not and will not hesitate to take any appropriate action, under law and within the franchise agreement, where a franchisee is found to be in contravention of the law.”

The retail chain is currently owned by billionaire businessman Russell Withers and his sister Beverley Barlow and has more than 620 stores nationwide.

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