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According to Fair Work Ombudsman, this is by far the largest penalty ordered against a 7 Eleven franchise owner for underpaying the staff.
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Source:
ABC
2 May 2016 - 11:53 AM  UPDATED 2 May 2016 - 5:53 PM

A federal court has fined a Western Sydney 7 Eleven franchise owner, Harmandeep Singh Sarkaria more than $200,000 for underpaying his employees.

Mr. Sarkaria has been penalised $35,700 and his company Amritaria Four Pty Ltd has been fined a further $178,500.

Judge Justin Smith said Mr Sarkaria had "deliberately flouted his legal obligations" and engaged in "a sustained and deliberate process of deception" in order to earn maximum profits.

Judge Justin Smith said Mr Sarkaria had "deliberately flouted his legal obligations" and engaged in "a sustained and deliberate process of deception" in order to earn maximum profits.

"One of the aims of imposing a penalty is to mark a warning for others who might be tempted to engage in similar conduct," Judge Smith said.

Mr. Sarkaria paid his employees about $10 an hour.

The court heard most of the underpayment related to a migrant worker from Pakistan who was underpaid a total of $43,633 between March 2012 and March 2014.

Another employee, also from Pakistan and aged in his mid-20s, was underpaid $5,793 between August 2013 and March 2014.

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The court found Mr Sarkaria also made false entries to the 7-Eleven head office payroll system about the number of hours the employees had worked. The payroll entries were falsified to show that the workers were paid $25 per hour.

The time sheets provided to Fair Work inspectors showed the employees worked only 10 hours a week, whereas they actually worked significantly more hours, the court heard.

"This kind of conduct has absolutely no place in Australian workplaces at all," a spokesman from the Fair Work Ombudsman, Craig Bildstein said.

"Since July 2009, we've put eight matters involving 7-Eleven franchisees before the courts, part of a number of enforcement actions we've taken into these stores."

"And this is by far the largest penalty decision to come down thus far and in the words of the judge in the court it's to mark a warning for others, who might be tempted to engage in similar conduct," said Mr. Bildstein.

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