8 June 2018
A Parramatta childcare operator is facing legal action after allegedly failing to pay two migrant workers, in another case of alleged wage theft that could have been prevented by stronger State laws.
The owner of Joys Child Care centre in Parramatta is accused of not paying his workers at all for a year of work under the guise of an ‘unpaid work experience’ scheme.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges two childcare workers were paid nothing despite being entitled to a total of $54,752 for a year’s work they performed at Joys Child Care between February 2016 and February 2017.
It’s prompted NSW Labor to again call for new wage theft laws to be aimed at employers who are getting away with flagrant abuses of the rights and entitlements of workers.
NSW Labor has committed to implementing stronger deterrents, as current penalties are not tough enough.
Labor has a five point plan to eliminate the exploitation of vulnerable workers and crack down on businesses that underpay their staff. It is as follows:
- A new wage theft law to criminalise the deliberate failure to pay wages and entitlements;
- New laws to hold head franchisors accountable for the actions of franchisees;
- Widened powers for workplace inspectors to undertake wage audits;
- A licensing scheme for labour hire companies, forcing them to comply with labour laws and ensuring they provide safe, fair and reasonable work conditions; and
- New laws to protect Sunday penalty rates in all state awards and agreements.
Quotes attributable to Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Adam Searle:
“It’s clear that the systematic exploitation of workers continues to impact employees all around the State.
“We need stronger laws and better enforcement, because there are still a number of unscrupulous employers that aren’t getting the message.
“NSW Labor will deliver a new wage theft law to criminalise the deliberate failure to pay wages and other entitlements.”
Quotes attributable to Labor’s Candidate for Parramatta Liz Scully:
“Vulnerable workers are being cheated out of a staggering amount of wages by crooked bosses and it has to stop.
“A Labor Government would see dodgy employers pay correct wages and entitlements to staff or face the consequences!”