The West Australian government will be inquiring into the incidence and impact of wage theft throughout the state.
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Did you have a choice of either your own or your employers super-fund? Did you give your boss a tax-file number? If you answered no to any of the above, that’s one example of wage theft.
The Queensland Council of Unions reported that across the nation, over two million employees lose over $5.6 billion in super annually!
ARE YOU GETTING PAID SUPER?
A media release from the Industrial Relations Minister, Bill Johnston said:
Wage theft is the systematic and deliberate underpayment of wages and entitlements to a worker. The inquiry will consider whether there is evidence of wage theft occurring in Western Australia, the reasons behind it and the impact on workers, business and the community.
Wage theft takes many forms including:
- No written contracts
- Employment as a contractor but treated as an employee
- Payslips that have no superannuation and/or tax
- No sick or annual leave
The Inquiry into Wage Theft in Queensland last year found that wage theft in the state affects “one-in-four Queensland workers…costing $1.2 billion every year” on top of the $1.12 billion loss tied to the underpayment or non-payment of superannuation.
The inquiry recommended that the government provide better public information, education and policies that allow underpaid workers to take action against their employers and ensure an efficient and low-cost wage recovery process.
The Daniel Andrews government took a different approach to tackling the wage theft crisis in Victoria. In the lead up to the November state election, the Victorian ALP promised to jail bosses over wage theft. The promised reforms would carry fines of more that “$150,000 for bosses and $950,000 for businesses found to deliberately withhold wages, superannuation or other entitlements.”
Professional Pharmacists Australia welcomes the WA government inquiry and we encourage our members based in WA to fill out the survey and tell the inquiry when you’ve been underpaid.
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If you wish to make a submission and need help with the process, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr Tony Beech, Chief Commissioner of the WA Industrial Relations Commission and union advocate and has been appointed to undertake the inquiry. You can read more about his 28 year career at the Commission in this 2016 article.
“The McGowan Government is committed to ensuring that there is a safety net of wages and entitlements for all workers,” said Mr Johnston.
More Information: Inquiry into wage theft in Western Australia