3 November 2016
In relation to the allegations raised in today’s media, Caltex Australia confirms that it does not tolerate any unlawful activity – including deliberate underpayment of workers – anywhere in its network.
Caltex’s 85 company-operated sites comply with all Australian laws, including those related to wages and conditions. Caltex is not aware of any allegations raised against Caltex or any of its company-operated sites.
Similarly, Caltex requires every one of its more than 300 franchisees to comply with the law. We conduct annual review and audit processes to ensure compliance with these laws and our franchise agreements. Caltex also has a sustainable franchise business model, which is very different from other franchisors. The Caltex model is structured so that there is never a need for franchisees not to meet all wage obligations.
Reports regarding another franchisor in 2015 prompted Caltex to conduct forensic independent investigations into our franchisees to determine whether any of them were breaching Australian workplace laws.
Caltex proactively contacted the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) in November 2015 regarding this investigation process and has continued to provide regular updates over the past 12 months.
Throughout this period we have also continued to communicate with franchisees to further remind them of their obligations to their employees, Caltex and the FWO.
Caltex did not “tip-off” company-operated or franchise sites. FWO advised Caltex that it would be conducting random audits across its network and requested that Caltex communicate with each site operator. Caltex wrote to its franchisees and company stores to ensure their full cooperation with the auditing process should their site be inspected.
Caltex was not provided any information about the specific sites the FWO would be auditing.
Caltex has conducted forensic investigations into 20 franchised sites (eight franchisees) and is investigating more than 40 other sites. This process will continue.
We have terminated five franchisees over the past 12 months – they represent a small fraction of our network of over 300 Caltex franchisees and unfairly damage the hard-earned reputation of the overwhelming majority who do the right thing by their employees.
Caltex has established a number of channels through which the questions and concerns of franchisee employees can be raised, including an anonymous hotline.
There is no excuse for underpaying workers – if any further cases of fraudulent or deliberate misbehaviour are identified, whether through Caltex’s independent investigation process or as a result of the FWO auditing over coming weeks, we will not hesitate to terminate our agreement with the franchisee involved.
Anyone with questions or allegations about wages and conditions across the Caltex network is urged to call our anonymous hotline on 1800 986 383.
A proud and iconic Australian company, Caltex has grown to become the nation’s leading transport fuel supplier, with a vast network of approximately 1,900 company-owned, franchised or affiliated sites. Caltex aims to be the market leader in complex supply chains and the evolving convenience marketplace, by delivering the fuel and other everyday needs of its diverse customers through its networks. With a history tracing back to 1900, Caltex has safely and reliably fuelled the needs of Australian motorists and businesses for more than a century. It operates as a refiner, importer and marketer of fuels and lubricants. It is listed as CTX on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Communications and Media Adviser
W: (02) 9250 5294
Caltex Franchise Network Facts
- Caltex has visibility of and responsibility for wages at about 5% of the approximately 1900 Caltex-branded or affiliated sites around Australia – at these 85 stores, all Caltex employees are paid in accordance with an Enterprise Agreement
- About one-third of the supplied network (about 650 sites) is operated by franchisees, who must independently manage wages, conditions, rostering and hiring in accordance with the relevant awards
- All other sites carrying the Caltex brand (e.g. more than 500 Woolworths sites or the hundreds of resellers) are also managed entirely independently of Caltex
Caltex franchise network
- Caltex is one of the largest franchisors in Australia, with more than 650 sites operated by over 300 franchisees
- The Caltex franchise system is characterised by clear obligations on franchisees to comply with all legal regulations and obligations
- Our system is structured to provide fair returns for franchisees, with financial and practical support mechanisms where possible to ensure their sustainability
Independent audits of Caltex franchisees
- Caltex does not tolerate any unlawful activity – including deliberate underpayment of workers – anywhere in its network
- Caltex has a robust, proactive process in place to independently investigate any franchisee that may appear not to (or be alleged not to) be in compliance
- In cases of fraudulent or deliberate misbehaviour, we will not hesitate to terminate our agreement with any such franchisee
- We have terminated 5 franchisees in the last 12 months for fraudulent or deceptive behaviour – this represents less than 2% of our franchise network
- If other franchisees are found to be breaking the law or their agreement with Caltex, we will not hesitate to terminate our relationship