On 30 July 2018, Ai Group made a submission to a Queensland Parliamentary Committee inquiry into ‘wage theft’.
Ai Group’s submission argues that:
- The characterisation of underpayments as ‘theft’ is misleading, inappropriate, and has the potential to unfairly brand every failure to correctly calculate an employee’s pay as criminal.
- The existing regulatory system provides an appropriate framework for oversight and enforcement of penalties directed against the small minority of employers who deliberately underpay their staff.
- The current regulatory system governing workplace relations in Australia is federally based. State and Territory legislation designed to circumvent the Commonwealth system is unwelcome and would add to an already overly complex system.
- Criminalisation of underpayments is inappropriate. Many instances of incorrect payment are a result of misunderstanding or error. Employers should not be at risk of being labelled a ‘thief’ for such mistakes. Exposure to criminal penalties, including imprisonment, for underpayments would discourage investment and employment in Queensland.
If you would like more information about wage theft please contact Ai Group’s Workplace Advice Service on 1300 55 66 77.
Alternatively, if you would like advice regarding the structuring of employment arrangements, please contact your local employment, workplace and industrial lawyer in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Adelaide, Melbourne or Brisbane or email Ai Group Workplace Lawyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.