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Class action lawyer Stewart Levitt, principal of Levitt Robinson, implored the Senate not to let head office blame franchisees for its mistakes.

“I have a real concern the government will target franchisees but not head office, despite the fact that 7-Eleven’s Melbourne head office was expressly responsible for the franchisees’ payroll and the Dallas parent franchisor was recognised as a “third-party beneficiary”, Mr Levitt said.

He called on the Turnbull government to provide an amnesty for students with restricted work visas who have been exploited by employees.

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