04/09/2015 - 13:39

Fels heads panel for 7-Eleven probe

04/09/2015 - 13:39

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Former head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Allan Fels will lead an independent panel to receive and review claims involving underpaid staff by franchisees of 7-Eleven.

Former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission boss Allan Fels.

Former head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Allan Fels will lead an independent panel to receive and review claims involving underpaid staff by franchisees of 7-Eleven.

Professor Fels will head the two-person panel with former Consumer Affairs Victoria director, ACCC commissioner and Prices Surveillance Authority chair David Cousins.

The panel will begin reviewing claims this week, supported by an independent secretariat with a team of forensic accountants from professional services firm Deloitte.

The panel will meet and be staffed out of Deloitte’s Melbourne office.

“While Mr Cousins and I finalise the panel arrangements, we have broad investigative parameters, with the clear aim to rectify underpayment of staff, as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Professor Fels said.

“We have insisted that extensive efforts, including advertising, be made to encourage those who believe they have been underpaid to contact the panel.

“The overall results of the panel’s work will be made public but the names of individual claimants will not be made public by the panel.”

Meanwhile, 7-Eleven chairman Russ Withers has committed to promptly make good on any underpayment of staff by franchisees of the business.

“There is no doubt that Allan Fels will fulfil this role without fear or favour,” Mr Withers said.

“He is staunchly independent, and with the support of Deloitte’s forensic accountants, I am confident his involvement will help ensure 7-Eleven pays all approved claims promptly.”

Professor Fels said the panel will seek support from the Fair Work Ombudsman, which has regulatory oversight.

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