Sowerbutts said many of the enterprise agreements would not pass the Better Off Overall Test (BOOT), which assesses payment terms, if they were negotiated today. Felicity Sowerbutts of the Young Workers Centre stated that Subway employees complained about underpayment, the use of “the age of choice of work” agreements, the absence of penalties, and physical and verbal harassment. Under the current bonus salary, introduced in 2010, Ms. Lindon would have received $US 211 for her 19-year casual employee position and penalty interest for work weekends. They are called “zombie agreements” because they do not die if workers do not renegotiate them, and it is estimated that they currently affect thousands of Australian workers. Instead, she classified her written agreement in 2017 as “part-time” despite her irregular schedules, which allowed the company to pay her less. The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age confirmed that Subway was now under investigation by the Ombudsman after employees were underpaid and underpaid across the franchise network. And while employers must keep track of annual wage increases for the minimum wage made by the government, it only applies to the basic hourly rate in an enterprise agreement. Former Subway employee Renee McCarthy worked for more than three years in the franchise and said she was underpaid 1,300 $US after being paid by a “pirate employment contract” that had expired but was never updated.
The $170 billion franchise industry has been unmasked in a series of media investigations such as the place where wages are underpayment. Current and former Subway employees at the Young Workers Centre in Melbourne, The Young Workers Centre, a group close to the unions in Melbourne that has received more than two dozen complaints about Subway in the past 12 months. But Ms. Lindon later discovered that the original contract she signed was using an outdated enterprise agreement that allowed Subway to pay for it according to the wage rules that had come into effect 13 years earlier. Employees dispute the company`s assertion that it is “proactive” and that working papers are regularly reviewed. The Fair Work Ombudsman hit Subway with a hefty fine last September after discovering that Australian franchisees owe tens of dozens of employees $150,000 in unpaid wages, fast food chain Subway is the youngest retailer targeted by a union for so-called zombie company deals. “Failure to comply with the law results in enforcement action, including the possible termination of a franchise agreement.” Many enterprise agreements concluded during the WorkChoice era prior to the Fair Labour Act in 2009 are still in circulation because a legal loophole allows them to be used beyond their expiry date. All enterprise agreements are approved by the Fair Work Commission and can act legally until a party terminates the agreement.
Subway said it could lay off franchisees who don`t pay employees properly after learning that the U.S. sandwich giant was being reviewed by the Fair Work Ombudsman for underpaying local employees. It is estimated that tens of thousands of workers across the country – in a number of sectors – are employed under these zombie agreements, which may exist due to a flaw in the labour relations system. A Subway employee, who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of repercussions, stated that she had worked for three years in three different subway branches and was underpaid in each store and had not paid overtime in her current role. “All subway restaurant employees are entitled to pay for hours worked, including training,” the spokesman said.