Domino’s Pizza says it is investigating reports that its franchisees demanded payment from oversees workers to support their visa applications.
A Fairfax Media report says the going rate is $30,000 to $150,000 to get a work visa, depending on the nationality and the job at Domino’s.
The report also alleges some workers have been underpaid, with incorrect time sheets and overtime worked without payment in claims that echo the underpayments scandal at 7-Eleven franchise stores.
Last month, the Fair Work Ombudsman revealed an audit of the Pizza Hut franchise chain discovered widespread breaches of workplace laws, leading to multiple fines.
The business has since changed hands, with Australian private equity firm Allegro taking control of the Australian licence for Pizza Hut from US-based Yum! Brands last September.
In early trade today, Domino’s shares fell more than 6% to $60.05.
Domino’s says the media coverage doesn’t reflect the high ethical standards required of all employees and franchisees.
“There is no reason, no excuse, and no tolerance for any Domino’s franchise that chooses not to pay its employees correctly or fails to meet expectations around ethics and governance,” the company said in a statement to the ASX.
Domino’s says it has found no evidence of a link between franchisee profitability and breaches of employment obligations.
The company says that in the last three years it has removed four franchisees, operating seven stores, from its network for deliberately underpaying their employees.
“Where Domino’s has identified an employee has been underpaid, the company’s first priority is ensuring the employee is repaid correctly,” according to the statement.
“Domino’s has not previously received any complaints of visa fraud, but is investigating an allegation raised in today’s report.”
Domino’s reports its half year results on Wednesday.
The fast food company has been smashing sales targets and expanding into Europe.
In August, Domino’s Pizza reported full year network sales up 32.7% to $1.964 billion and underlying profit after tax ahead of guidance at $92 million, a 43.6% rise and a record.
* Disclosure: Fairfax Media owns 100% of Allure Media, the publisher of Business Insider.
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