Media Release

14 April 2021

NSW Labor has said that the Berejiklian Government’s supposed plan to tackle wage theft is woefully inadequate and that the Government was desperate to look like they were doing something in the shadow of the Upper Hunter by-election.

For years, Gladys Berejiklian and Dominic Perrottet have sat on their hands and refused to act on rogue employers stealing workers’ money.

There are no additional inspectors being provided to actually enforce any new laws or penalties. It is public knowledge that there are not enough inspectors now to deal with existing payroll tax evasion.

“If the Berejiklian Government was serious about cracking down on wage theft it would criminalise it by taking direct aim at the systematic non-payment of workers wages and other entitlements” — Adam Searle MLC, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations and Labor Leader in the Legislative Council

“Where are the measures that tackle wage theft in franchising networks, where many of the worst examples of wage theft have occurred, or the measures to properly regulate the labour hire industry which is often used to undercut hard won pay and conditions for direct employees, especially in the coal mining industry?” Mr Searle asked.

“Since 2017, NSW Labor has put forward a comprehensive package which covers all of these issues and supports getting stolen wages back in the pockets of workers.”

Shadow Minister for Finance Daniel Mookhey said: “Damien Tudehope has effectively announced a toothless tiger. There aren’t even enough inspectors to deal with existing payroll tax evasion. Let alone enough to crack down on the wage theft epidemic.”