Staff left to find own pay after Pizza Hut store shuts
PIZZA Hut employees have been without pay or work after the Toowoomba store, on Ruthven and Stenner St, was forced to close.
Pizza Hut Australia confirmed the store had closed as franchise owner John Stephens was in breach of his agreement.
Pizza Hut Australia said it had given formal notice for the termination of the Toowoomba Pizza Hut franchisee, effective today.
Mr Stephens had left the business earlier and staff had been endeavouring to keep it running.
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A meeting between the staff and a Pizza Hut Australia head office representative was held to discuss wages and entitlements owed to the staff.
It is believed staff have not been paid for work since January 14.
More than 40 employees were affected by the closure.
The Pizza Hut representative said the staff should lodge a claim through the Fair Work Ombudsman to attempt to retrieve entitlements through a process called the General Employee Entitlements and Redundancy Scheme.
Staff were also informed by the representative that Pizza Hut was looking for a new franchisee to take over the store and encouraged them to apply.
It was possible that staff may be re-hired if that occurs.
An employee said staff had been warned not to talk to the Chronicle.
Gardening contractor Paul Goodall said he had been employed to maintain the owner's private garden as well as the Pizza Hut premises.
"I am owed between $800 and $1000 for work over the past two months," Mr Goodall said.
"It's a strange situation the way it's just folded up.
"The first I heard of it was a few days ago on Facebook when someone on the page asked if anyone knew about the store shutting down.
"I drove past the owner's house and there were no signs of anyone living there."
Attempts have been made by The Chronicle to contact Mr Stephens but they have been unsuccessful.
A visit to the Pizza Hut site revealed a hand-written note pasted on the window which read "closed until further notice".