On the 1st of February the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, and the Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Brendan O’Connor, announced the first stage of Labor’s policy to protect rights at work by cracking down on unscrupulous employers who are willing to exploit workers.
At the time Labor called on the Abbott-Turnbull Government to act on the widespread exploitation of workers which has been occurring. Before and after our announcement the Government has been completely silent and done nothing. That’s why Labor is introducing a Private Member’s Bill to deliver on our announcement.
Cracks down on the underpayment of workers, with significantly increased penalties for employers who deliberately and systemically avoid paying their employees properly
Ramps up protections for workers from sham contracting, by strengthening legal protections for a worker’s entitlements and increasing penalties
Gives the Fair Work Ombudsman more power to pursue employers who liquidate their companies in order to avoid paying the money they owe their workers
Introduces reforms to ensure that temporary overseas workers are not being exploited and underpaid and that there is a level playing field for all workers in Australia.
This exposure draft of the Bill has been circulated for consultation with interested parties including employers, employees and their representatives over the next two weeks.