Victims To Have Their Say On Wage Theft

  • Attorney-General

The Andrews Labor Government is calling for victims of wage theft to have their say about new wage theft offences at the first of a series of wage theft forums in Northcote.

The Labor Government is holding forums across Victoria and will consult a range of employer groups and unions to ensure the new laws are fair. The forums will be led by Member for Ringwood Dustin Halse.

The government is making the underpayment of wages, as well as the withholding of entitlements such as penalty rates, superannuation and leave a criminal offence, in line with our election commitment.

Offences will capture employers who dishonestly falsify employment records or fail to keep employment records, recognising that failing to keep or falsifying records is often used to disguise wage theft.

The proposed laws will also make it faster, cheaper and easier for workers to get the money they are owed by their employer through the courts.

Employers who deliberately withhold wages, superannuation or other employee entitlements, falsify employment records, or fail to keep employment records will face fines of up to $190,284 for individuals, $951,420 for companies and up to 10 years jail.

These wage theft forums are being held to give victims an opportunity to tell their stories and have their say on the reforms. The new wage theft offences will be investigated and prosecuted by the Wage Inspectorate Victoria.

As noted by Attorney-General Jill Hennessy

“A fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work is a simple concept and yet many hard-working Victorians are still under-paid and exploited.”

“The Andrews Labor Government is introducing new wage theft offences to hold employers accountable, and fast-tracking court processes to help workers recover their entitlements.”

As stated by Minister for Industrial Relations Tim Pallas

“We’re cracking down on employers who do the wrong thing and these forums are an important part of making sure workers are paid for the job they do.”

As stated by Member for Northcote Kat Theophanous

“Workers deserve to be paid on time and in full. They should never be put in a situation where they need to make a complaint just to be paid properly. This forum, the first of many across Victoria, gives workers an opportunity to share their stories.”

As stated by Member for Ringwood Dustin Halse

“We want to hear from all Victorians to learn about their experiences because dishonest employers need to know that wage theft must be stopped.”

/Public Release. View in full here.