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.
A Queensland McDonald’s franchisee has been ordered to pay a worker $1000 in compensation after a worker was routinely denied drinks and toilet breaks (stock image)
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.’
The Federal Court (pictured) ordered the franchisee to pay the compensation after discovering the worker was denied drinks and toilet breaks during all but three of their shifts