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Wage theft investigation reveals the truth

August 2020

One in five South Australian workers are likely to be affected by wage theft, according to an interim report from the State Parliamentary Wage Theft Committee.

The interim report, which was handed down to the Legislative Council, confirmed the widespread impact the issue is having on South Australians.

Wage theft doesn't just hurt employees, it also allows dishonest businesses to undercut employers who do the right thing.

Evidence also high-lighted the Fair Work Ombudsman is under resourced and lacks staff to police existing legislation regarding underpayment, indicating the need for reform.

In response to sub-missions, the com-mittee has made three overarching recommend-ations:

• The creation of greater oversight and regulation.

• An increase in penalties for offenders.

• The streamlining for court processes in pursuit of underpayment claims.

The committee will continue its investigation, focusing on the effects of COVID19 on workers.

"The report shows that wherever you find young workers, casual employees and women in the workforce, you will find wage theft", Parliamentary Wage Theft Committee Chair Irene Pnevmatikos said.

"The current mechanisms to prevent wage theft aren’t working and they make all workers vulnerable. We need to change the system to ensure protections are in place".


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