Labor Will Criminalise Wage Theft

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Thursday, 13th May 2021

Labor Will Criminalise Wage Theft

with Tony Burke MP

An Albanese Labor Government will protect Australian workers from exploitation and rip-offs by criminalising wage theft.

Wage theft costs workers an estimated $1.35 billion every year. 

It happens across industries – from construction to health care, from retail to accommodation – and disproportionately affects vulnerable workers like women, young people and migrants.
 
Across Australia a worker who steals from the till is committing a crime - but in most states and territories an employer who steals their workers’ wages is not. This is completely unfair.

For some employers, wage theft has become part of their business model. It’s well past time we end this epidemic.

A Labor Government will consult with states and territories, unions and employers to develop laws that criminalise wage theft nationwide. 

Labor’s laws will not water down any wage theft laws already passed by the states.

The Labor governments in Victoria and Queensland moved to criminalise wage theft last year because Scott Morrison has refused to act. But Australia needs a national wage theft system to end the rip-offs.
 
The Liberals and Nationals have been in government for eight long years. There have been dozens of high profile wage theft scandals under their watch with tens of thousands of workers ripped off.

Mr Morrison had to be dragged kicking and screaming into even acknowledging there was a problem. Two years ago he finally announced he’d do something about it - but as usual he hasn’t delivered.
 
Labor voted in the Senate in March to pass national wage theft laws.

With Labor and the Senate crossbench on board, the Government had the numbers to easily pass the wage theft laws through Parliament. Instead it threw a tantrum and tore up its own laws because it couldn’t also get support for its plans to cut workers’ pay and conditions.

Mr Morrison decided to send a clear signal to wage thieves: keep it up.

It’s clear now the only way Australia will get national wage theft laws to protect workers is by electing an Albanese Labor Government.

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Electorate Office

334a Marrickville Road
MARRICKVILLE NSW 2204

Phone: (02) 9564 3588
Fax: (02) 9564 1734
Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

Parliament House Office

PO Box 6022
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6277 4022
Fax: (02) 6277 8562

Phone: (02) 9564 3588
Fax: (02) 9564 1734
Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

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