A $30,000 fine imposed on Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) for
illegally employing children to work later than 10pm at three
of its Perth outlets is not enough, an affiliation of 40
KFC was today fined in the Industrial Magistrates Court for
rostering children aged under 15 on shifts after 10pm on 153
separate occasions at outlets in Ellenbrook, Rockingham and
Forrestfield - including a 14-year-old finishing at 1.17am.
Under WA laws, children aged at least 13 years and less than
15 years may be employed between 6am and 10pm if it is
outside of school hours and if their parents have provided
Of the 153 unlawful shifts, about a quarter finished after
midnight, and 21 were on school nights.
The stores in question were three of four company-owned
stores, while the remainder of KFC outlets in WA are owned by
franchiser Competitive Foods Australia, which also has Hungry
Jacks and Domino's Pizza units.
UnionsWA acting secretary Meredith Hammat said the fine was
"This is dangerous exploitation," Ms Hammat said.
"There were 21 unlawful shifts worked on school nights. So
child education was also compromised."
KFC said it has made changes to its roster processes and
arranged retraining to ensure such incidents do not happen
It would ensure any employee under 15 could not be added to
the payroll without parental permission and would update
rostering software to prevent those staff from being rostered
to work after 10pm.
"We deeply regret the lapses in our systems that allowed
these rostering breaches to occur," the company said.
"We take full responsibility and accept that the penalties
that have been imposed are appropriate in the circumstances."
KFC also offered its apologies to the employees concerned and
Ms Hammat said young people and parents should report cases
of children being illegally employed.
"This case shows the importance of maintaining public
services that monitor and respond to illegal work," she said.
Ms Hammat also called on WA Commerce Minister Simon O'Brien
to promise that public sector staffing cutbacks would not
affect the ability of the Department of Commerce to protect
children from exploitation in the workplace.
A spokesman for Mr O'Brien said he urged all employers -
particularly during the school holidays - to contact the
Department's Wageline service on 1300 655 266 to ensure they
understand their obligations when employing children and do
not breach these laws.