WA Launches Wage Theft Inquiry

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Wage Theft Enquiry

  • The McGowan Government will commence an inquiry into wage theft next month
  • Inquiry will examine the incidence and impact of wage theft
  • Inquiry will make recommendations on strategies to combat wage theft

The McGowan Government has announced that an inquiry into wage theft will commence in February 2019. Tony Beech, former Chief Commissioner of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission, has been appointed to undertake the inquiry.

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.

The inquiry will look at the current regulatory framework at a State and Federal level, and recommend strategies to combat wage theft and assist affected workers. The inquiry report and recommendations will be provided to Government by June 2019. It has been reported that Australian workers are being underpaid more than $1 billion in lost wages each year.

Comments attributed to Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston:

"The McGowan Government is committed to ensuring there is a fair safety net of wages and entitlements for all workers.

"Workers should not be denied their legal pay and entitlements through employers engaging in wage theft.

"I'm very pleased to have Tony Beech, who is very well respected in the industrial relations community, to undertake this important inquiry.

"I encourage workers affected by wage theft, stakeholders and the community to get involved in the inquiry so that practical strategies can be developed to combat this issue."

Minister's office - 6552 6700

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