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Workers sue KFC over 10-minute breaks

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The class actions allege workers were not given a paid 10-minute break. Picture: NewsWire / Sarah Marshall

Two separate class-action lawsuits, each claiming popular fast-food chain KFC failed to give its employees paid 10-minute rest breaks, have been ordered to work together by a court.

Gordon Legal appeared before the Federal Court on Friday, representing two clients who started a class action against two KFC franchises.

The class action is aiming to recover compensation for workers who did not receive their 10-minute paid rest breaks while working at those stores between October 25, 2017 until now.

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Two class actions are pursuing compensation against KFC for failing to give its workers paid 10-minute breaks. NewsWire / Sarah Marshall

Shine Lawyers last month launched its own class-action investigation with the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union on behalf of all KFC employees.

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The Shine Lawyers investigation alleges staff were also not given a paid 10-minute break when working a shift over four hours since October 2017.

The union will collect evidence from workers of alleged misconduct alongside legal firm Shine Lawyers.

The Shine Lawyers class action has yet to be heard in the Federal Court.

KFC workers under a 2020 enterprise agreement are entitled to a paid 10-minute break after four hours of work and a second paid break after eight hours.

Of the 37,000 workers covered under the agreement, 34,000 are under the age of 21.

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Workers are entitled to a break under a 2020 enterprise agreement. Picture: NewsWire / Sarah Marshall

When the Gordon Legal class action was mentioned before the Federal Court on Friday, Justice Michael Lee ordered Shine Lawyers to “immediately” prepare its case for court.

The court was told that KFC argued it was not aware of what the Shine Lawyers class action would entail.

Justice Lee said if both class actions prepared their cases and outlined their arguments, then he’d be able to proceed with the case management hearing.

He said that would allow KFC to prepare its defence in a timely manner for both class actions and could prevent unnecessary court proceedings if an agreed statement of facts could be established.

“It just seems to me the appropriate course would be to make an order … get the Shine proceedings on immediately and bring it back in a couple of weeks,” Justice Lee said.

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The agreement covers 37,000 workers. Picture: NewsWire / Sarah Marshall

All parties involved agreed and the case was adjourned to December 4.

A 21-year-old KFC worker earns $24.85 an hour on a full adult rate.

A 16-year-old earns 50 per cent of the $24.85 wage and the figure rises as age progresses, with an 18-year-old earning 80 per cent of the full adult rate.