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Two company directors/shareholders have been personally fined $20,000 each for their involvement in breaches of the Fair Work Act by a  7-Eleven franchise in Victoria.

The Federal Circuit Court also ordered the company to pay a $150,000 penalty for deliberately underpaying employees and using a “reverse calculation” regime to cover its tracks.

Judge Suzanne Jones found the reverse calculation came about through the employer “totalling [the employees’] wages and then entering inaccurate hours and rates of pay into the payroll system”.

This created records purporting to show the employees had been paid award rates, she said.

Judge Jones found Hiyi Pty Ltd deliberately breached the Fair Work Act and the General Retail Industry Award 2010 and that senior managers understood their obligations to pay minimum rates to employees at the Parkville store in Victoria.

The judge said the directors and shareholders purposely entered incorrect financial data despite being fully aware of the correct pay rates, loadings and penalties.

She said it was likely the underpayments would have continued “unabated” had it not been for the FWO conducting an audit.

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