KFC could be facing a lawsuit from thousands of workers who claim the fast food giant denied them a 10-minute break.

Lily O’Sullivan, who worked in the Illawarra Region of NSW between 2019 and 2020, said that her request for a leave was denied.

She said: “I remember asking for a 10-minute rest break and being told ‘No we don’t have those’ as if they were optional.

After talking to my colleagues, I quickly realized that it was not something I would ask for again.

KFC employees under the 2020 enterprise agreement have a right to a 10-minute paid break after working four hours and a second break paid after eight hours.

Retail and Fast Food Workers Union Secretary Josh Cullinan claimed that KFC workers, the majority of whom were younger than 21, worked under harsh conditions and that short breaks provided them with “enormous advantages”.

He said, “They’re hot, they work fast, and there’s no let up. There are cameras all around them.”

It’s hard for them to stop and take a sip of water or to use the toilet.

The minimum they can expect from this kind of work is their minimum condition.

A KFC employee aged 21 earns $24,85 per hour at the full adult rate.

The figure increases with age, and an 18-year old earns 80 percent of the adult rate.

Three-quarters of the 37,000 workers who are covered by the agreement are under 21 years old.

The union and Shine Lawyers will gather evidence from McDonald’s workers about alleged misconduct. Shine Lawyers is also bringing a class action suit against McDonald’s at the Federal Court, alleging worker exploitation.

Mr Cullinan told him he spoke to KFC employees who claimed they had not been paid for rest breaks until 2020.

The lawsuit covers the period from October 2017 to now.

Shine’s lawyer Hadi Boustani stated that if the union were able to provide sufficient evidence, they would sue the firm for the lost value of breaks, as well as a possible loss of amenity and the stress the workers experienced by missing their breaks.

He said that he intended to file a lawsuit “subject to the results of the investigation.”

We understand that such conduct is common in fast food outlets.

A KFC spokesperson responded to the allegations on Wednesday by saying that the company took its obligations under the Fair Work Act and KFC National Enterprise Agreement “very seriously,” including the responsibility to make sure its employees were taking the paid rest breaks to which they were entitled.

The spokesman stated that “regarding the investigation we have not received any contact from the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union nor Shine Lawyers.”

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