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Owner of KFC asking staff to authorise pay deductions is 'cheap' and 'petty', says union

June 26, 2019

Fast food company Restaurant Brands is asking staff to give overpaid annual leave money back, a move that's been labelled "petty" and "cheap" by Unite Union.

 

HR Matters Tip:

Managing payroll and employee wages can be tricky - use an online payroll system to ensure you pay your employees accurately. 

The company which employs thousands through KFC, Carl's Jnr and Pizza Hutt sent a letter to staff outlining what workers were owed in holiday pay that had been underpaid.

 

But the letter asked staff to sign and return the letter, authorising Restaurant Brands to deduct overpayments that were also made.

 

Treen said the letter was confusing for staff, who may think they had to sign it in order to receive their repayments, which was not the case.

 

"Without the signed form the company doesn't have the legal right to make the deduction," he said.

 

Unite was strongly advising members not to sign the form.

 

"[Restraurant Brands] are only paying back a fraction of what they owe staff. In those circumstances they have no right to ask workers to allow them to deduct what they claim are overpayments," Treen said.

 

Restaurant Brands' restaurants had been understaffed in recent years, with workers frequently working through without breaks or doing end-of-shift clean ups without proper compensation.

 

The incorrect leave calculations that company was paying back under an agreement with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, cover a period back to May 2012.

 

Treen said the the back payments should go back to 2009 to fully compensate workers.

 

He questioned why there was a limit and said that if there were no records, companies could still estimate what was owed.

 

"We think its petty. They had a willful ignorance around the issue over many years and to ask these poorly paid workers to give up some of their money is just cheap," Treen said.

 

The company made a $35m after-tax profit for the year ended February 2019.

 

A spokesperson for Restaurant Brands said that the letter was a draft that had been sent to the union and had not been distributed to staff. 

 

Former and current employees would be given the opportunity to offset any overpayments from underpayments as part of the holiday pay review.

 

"They will not be forced into signing any letter, nor will there be any repercussions for not signing. This will be made very clear in our email and letter to employees who are yet to receive this. We encourage Unite Union to work alongside us as we go through this process," he said.

 

- Full Article: https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/113786439/owner-of-kfc-asking-staff-to-authorise-pay-deductions-is-cheap-and-petty-says-union?cid=app-iPhone

 

 

 

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