Wednesday, 2 September 2020

McDonald's & Tantex Holdings spent a lot of money defending the indefensible over the last nine and a half months

Tanya Manteit-Mulcahy owns Tantex Holdings,
which runs several McDonald’s stores in Brisbane
Picture: Jono Searle
Source: News Limited 26 November 2019

The Advocate, 31 August 2020:

A Queensland McDonalds franchisee has been ordered to pay $1000 in compensation to a worker denied toilet and drink breaks.

Tantex Holdings, which operates six of the fast-food restaurants, has been ordered to pay former employee Chiara Staines compensation by the Federal Court on Monday.

In its published reasons for the decisions, the court found Ms Staines had been denied a 10-minute paid drink break on all but three occasions while working at a Queen St Mall restaurant in Brisbane from May 8, 2017 to June 15, 2019.

McDonald's staff have been entitled to paid 10-minute drink breaks under McDonald's Australia Enterprise Agreement 2013, which was approved by the Fair Work Commission on July 24, 2013.

According to the agreement, all employees are entitled to a 10-minute drink break when they work a shift between four to nine hours.

If they work more than nine hours, staff are entitled to two 10-minute breaks.

This is in addition to a meal break if working longer than five hours.

Ms Staines told the court her work was fast-paced, hot with a constant smell of food and the environment was stressful and demanding, physically and mentally.

"Ms Staines was denied a short respite from, what was by its nature, a mentally and physically demanding job," Justice John Logan said.

Brisbane businesswoman Tanya Manteit-Mulcah is the sole director of Tantex Holdings, which conceded it had not provided Ms Staines with the allowed breaks.

"The drink break for which clause 29 of the Agreement provided was a workplace right," Justice Logan found.

"So, too, for reasons explained above, was a right, within the bounds of reasonableness, to pause for a drink of water or to go to the toilet during a shift a workplace right."

This matter appears to have been before the Federal Court - Fair Work Division for the last nine and a half months. 

The Statement of Claim reportedly alleged that Tantex Holdings breached multiple workplace laws and accused managers of engaging in coercion and threatening conduct.

No comments: