Media Release

24 May 2021

A NSW Upper House inquiry into the Berejiklian Government’s supposed plan to tackle wage theft will hear from key stakeholders today including Unions NSW, Wage Theft Australia and Revenue NSW after serious concerns have been raised about the bill’s effectiveness.

After years of refusing to act on rogue employers stealing workers’ money, the Berejiklian Government is proposing a piecemeal solution that is more focused on payroll tax evasion than on wage theft.

Under the Government’s Bill there will be no additional inspectors to enforce any new laws or penalties and there are not enough inspectors now to deal with payroll tax evasion.

Committee Chair Tara Moriarty said: “Today will be a real test of the Berejiklian Government’s credibility on wage theft. Finally the stakeholders will be able to have their say after the Government went ahead and put forward this weak Bill.”

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

“This Bill does not contain serious measures to tackle wage theft in franchising networks, where many of the worst examples have occurred, or measures to properly regulate the labour hire industry which is too often used to undercut hard-won pay and conditions for direct long-term employees,” Mr Searle said.

Shadow Minister for Finance Daniel Mookhey said: “The Berejiklian Government’s so-called wage theft package is a toothless tiger. There aren’t even enough inspectors to deal with existing payroll tax evasion, let alone to crack down on the epidemic of wage theft.”