The Senate has agreed to Labor’s proposal for an inquiry into wage and superannuation theft.
The opposition’s industrial relations spokesman Tony Burke said the inquiry is a win for Australian workers.
“It will help the Parliament develop ways to stop employers ripping off their staff, and ensure workers get what they are owed,” he said.
The launch of the inquiry comes two weeks after it emerged supermarket giant Woolworths underpaid 6000 employees as much as $300 million.
“Despite scandal after scandal – from 7/11 in 2014 to Woolworths just a few weeks ago – the government has refused to act,” Burke said.
“Wage theft doesn’t just hurt those workers who are underpaid. It also has an impact on our economy, as people put off spending and struggle with stagnating wages.”
The Senate Economics References Committee inquiry will examine: how best to identify and uncover wage and super theft; how to protect those who expose underpayments; investigating the most effective means of recovering unpaid entitlements, the tax treatment of recovered entitlements, and changes to the existing legal framework that would assist with recovery and deterrence
The inquiry will also look into whether government procurement practices can be modified to ensure that public contracts are not awarded to businesses engaged in wage and superannuation theft.
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