John Stephens’ franchise agreement with Pizza Hut has been terminated.
John Stephens’ franchise agreement with Pizza Hut has been terminated. Allan Reinikka

Up to 50 Rockhampton Pizza Hut workers left out-of-pocket

UP TO 50 Pizza Hut workers have been left out-of-pocket and out of work after the owners of the two Rockhampton stores "cleared out".

A former employee who lost thousands of dollars in pay and superannuation said owners John and Tameka Stephens took all of the money from the stores and declared bankruptcy.

He said the workers had tried to keep the store running after the Stephens left and stopped paying them in mid-January, but the stores officially closed on Monday.

A Pizza Hut Australia spokesperson yesterday told The Morning Bulletin the franchisee was in breach of their franchise agreement and it had been terminated.

But they would not discuss the breaches.

The spokesperson said Pizza Hut Australia was considering its options.

The former employee, who asked to remain anonymous, said the Stephens lived on the Gold Coast and had gone into hiding.

"They cleared out last Tuesday," he said.

"They stopped paying people between January 10 and 14. It's a real shame for the hard working employees at both stores who have been left with very little to nothing, (and) managers who work long hours may now see none of their leave entitlements."

When The Bulletin tried to call Mr Stephens' mobile yesterday, his number was disconnected.

The Stephens were also the franchisees of the Pizza Hut in Toowoomba, which has now been closed as well.

When in Toowoomba, Pizza Hut representatives told employees to lodge a complaint with the Fair Work Ombudsman to retrieve lost pay.

The Stephens previously leased the Rock Pool Water Park in North Rockhampton as well.


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