Media Release

17 April 2018

The operators of four Sydney pharmacies have been fined after yet another case of wage theft in NSW, highlighting the continued need for stronger laws.

NSW Labor has again called for new wage theft laws to be aimed at employers who are getting away with flagrant abuses of the rights and entitlements of workers.

Three Sydney men were fined $45,000 after underpaying a migrant employee the equivalent of 93 weeks’ wages over a period of almost four years – they had previously been put on notice after three prior underpayment allegations.

The employee worked between Save and Deliver pharmacies at Liverpool and Mt Druitt. A second employee working at a Save and Deliver in Shellharbour was also underpaid.

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.

Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations Adam Searle today said:

“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.”