Convenience store giant 7-Eleven will be signing a new agreement under a profit-sharing model, which will allow the store and its franchisees to back-pay the wage scandal affected workers in partnership.

Millions of dollars will be paid in return to the wage fraud that is under scrutiny by the franchise industry worth $170 billion. Around 100 franchisees have been asked to undergo legal action as the deadline to sign up for the compensation was due 5 p.m. on Monday.

According to a letter obtained by Fairfax Media, the 7-Eleven head office has already agreed to pay $25 million for the wage fraud claims. The compensation was based on the recommendation of an independent wage review panel led by former ACCC chairman Allan Fels.

The franchisees will pay around $5 million apart from what head office will be paying. While in case any payment exceeded the limit, the amount will be paid by both the head office and the franchisees on a 50-50 partnership basis. There are former and current workers who suffered from wage exploitation. It is expected that their compensation would amount to as much as $300 million.

Fels said that he had written a letter to the government in which he had asked for amnesty so that if the foreign workers have been affected, they could claim compensation without fearing of job loss. “If the government would agree to our requests to grant amnesty then more people would come forward and the repayment bill would be so high as to be a massive deterrent to all other businesses involved in underpayment of wages,” he said.

According to Fairfax Media, franchisees have taken advice from lawyer Stewart Levitt of Levitt Robinson Solicitors, who has been preparing the class action lawsuit. They have discussed their options to further proceedings. Levitt has confirmed that there are 40 stores under class action while 60 have registered their interest.

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