43 per cent of all businesses and 55 per cent of those in hospitality surveyed in Shepparton, the Latrobe Valley, Gippsland, the Southern Highlands, Shoalhaven, Ipswich and Wide Bay are not complying with workplace laws, according to a new report from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
28 per cent of all businesses (more than 300 in total) were not paying workers correctly, engaging in wage theft or other forms of under payment and theft.
The plurality of all breaches were for basic wage theft (41 per cent).
The trial investigation by the FWO resulted in businesses paying back more than half a million dollars in stolen wages.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Assistant Secretary Scott Connolly:
“Wage theft is a systemic, nation-wide issue. Entire sectors of the economy are stealing wages, super, and leave entitlements from working people.
“Every single investigation, no matter where it looks or which sector it targets, finds the same thing. Employers are stealing huge amounts of money from working people.
“Working people need a government which will act to prevent wage theft, not attack working people and their representatives.
“The wage theft crisis is the result of decades of erosion of the rights of working people by conservative governments.
“We need immediate action to implement meaningful penalties for wage theft and ensure that all working people have fast, effective and affordable recourse when they have wages stolen.”