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Fighting For Australian Workers Who Have Had Their Wages Stolen By Their Boss
Queensland Wage Theft Inquiry Makes 17 Recommendations

Queensland wage theft inquiry makes 17 recommendations

The Queensland wage theft inquiry has made 17 recommendations to tackle the problem in the state.

Crucially, the Education, Employment and Small Business Committee has recommended the introduction of criminal penalties for deliberate and reckless wage theft.

Wage theft costs billions

The EESBC report found that 437,000 Queensland workers are not paid proper wages, costing the state economy $2.5 billion every year as a result.

Committee Chair, Leanne Linard MP, said wage theft imposes significant costs on workers, their families, and also on businesses and the economy.

“Our report reveals that wage theft is costing Queensland workers up to $1.22 billion in lost wages and $1.12 billion in lost superannuation every year,” she said.

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“Wage theft costs Queenslanders more than car crashes and natural disasters”

Queensland wage theft inquiry recommendations

The EESBC made 17 recommendations in all, for example:

  • making ‘deliberate and reckless’ wage theft a criminal offence, with offenders to face jail sentences as a result.
  • the Federal government to immediately appoint more Fair Work inspectors.
  • the Federal government to appoint more Federal Circuit Court judges to hear wage theft cases – currently there are two in Queensland.
  • the government to consider using the local Queensland Industrial Relations Commission to hear cases of wage theft.
  • waiving court fees for workers who take legal action to recover lost wages.
  • launching a public education campaign to make the community aware of the devastating effects of wage theft.
  • introducing education programs in schools, TAFEs and also universities to teach young people about their workplace rights.
Queensland wage theft inquiry recommendations underpayments

Miles Heffernan and some of his clients appeared at the wage theft inquiry.

Report praised

Meanwhile, industrial advocate Miles Heffernan praised the report and its recommendations.

He previously made a detailed submission to the wage theft inquiry. 

“The committee has taken this issue extremely seriously, and as a result has made sensible and practical recommendations,” he said.

“These recommendations will go a long way to reducing wage theft in Queensland.

“We now look forward to positive action from the government to ensure that hard working Queenslanders are protected from greedy bosses.”

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