New Victorian legislation could see employees jailed for up to 10 years for deliberate wage theft. Link
The law, which includes fines of up to $991,320 for companies, has been opposed by industry groups that say it will duplicate “the already complex” workplace laws and similar legislative changes currently under consideration by the Federal government.
The new legislation is the Victorian government’s response to several recent major underpayment scandals involving some of Australia’s largest companies i.e. Coles, Woolworths, QANTAS, Wesfarmers, etc.
Despite its heavy fines and criminal penalties critics of the new legislation say proving employers have deliberately under-paid employees in a court or law is going be very difficult; despite Attorney-General Jill Hennessy saying the current federal laws have failed to “prevent the exploitation of Victorian workers.
As previously reported in this blog, any increase in regulatory oversight and penalties in relation to wage compliance is likely to lead to an increase in payroll auditing service providers.