Domino's franchisees penalised for 'serious breaches of employment law'

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Two Auckland-based companies operating as Domino’s pizza franchises have been penalised $32,400 for serious breaches of employment law, following a Labour Inspectorate investigation.

The companies operated by Xi Chen failed to provide employees with correct employment agreements and to keep correct wage, time, holiday and leave records.

The businesses were based in Henderson and Te Atatu, and the breaches impacted 112 staff across both.

HRD contacted Domino’s for comments and a spokesperson said the company conducted a thorough wage audit after a staff complaint in relation to the particular store and team member wages.

This included working closely with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Consequently, Domino’s said the franchisee was removed from the business and any underpayments of team members found were immediately rectified.

“Domino’s expects all of its franchisees to comply with their New Zealand employment law obligations. As mentioned above, this behaviour is not tolerated and the franchisee no longer works with Domino’s,” added the Domino’s spokesperson.

“Any complaint/s received by Domino’s are immediately investigated and as seen in this example, action immediately taken.

“First and foremost, our concern is with ensuring our team members are treated as they should be, including being paid correctly at all times.”

In addition to penalties, Chen also paid his staff more than $54,000 in arrears, as calculated by Domino’s Pizza Enterprises.

Labour Inspectorate Retail Lead Loua Ward added that it’s “disappointing” to see companies operating under established and international brands, failing to provide employees with their minimum rights.

“These businesses have highly systematic approaches to the production of their product,” said Ward.

“It’s quite unacceptable that they do not have a similarly systematic approach throughout their operations, to ensure compliance with minimum employment rights, for what can be very vulnerable workers.”

Ward added that it’s simply not acceptable for businesses to ‘fix things up’ after the event.

“Businesses and their brands must have mechanisms in place to monitor and prevent employment standards breaches. It’s the ‘getting it right’ that counts,” said Ward.

“Businesses and their associates should know that the Labour Inspectorate will hold them fully and publicly to account for failing to comply with the law.

“There’s a reminder for consumers here too, and that’s to be mindful about whether your money is going into the right pocket. For a five dollar pizza, workers shouldn’t have to pay the price.”

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