The ETU's newly re-elected leadership has reaffirmed its commitment to pursue underpayments to long-term casuals, vowing to conduct a targeted national program of timesheet and wage record inspections to build its case.
A landmark contempt finding and accompanying jail sentence hailed as proof of the FWO's commitment to justice has been overturned by a full Federal Court that found the ruling judge's "open" hostility to the underpaying employer compromised his ability to consider the evidence.
Former Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James has warned of IR specialists kept in cupboards, time bombs for HR managers and nightmare scenarios caused by "fundamental misunderstandings", in a speech to an Ai Group forum.
The FWO has launched a test case against the operator of a pop-up toy store, seeking to reverse the onus of proof for underpayments and rely for the first time on serious contraventions provisions that potentially expose the company and its director to 10 times the ordinary maximum penalties.
The FWO must pay half the legal costs of a Norwegian shipping company accused of short-changing 60 crew, the Federal Court chastising the watchdog for "doggedly" pushing to hold it liable even though it already repaid them, fully cooperated and could not have known of the contraventions.
Leading employment law academics have urged a WA inquiry to consider a growing body of evidence that wage theft is "not so much an anomaly, as a norm", while the AiG says that characterising under-payments as stealing is misleading.
A dispute between Macquarie Bank and 15 former employees who allege they were underpaid more than $2.6 million looks destined for a full hearing after the Federal Circuit Court rebuffed the parties' request for mediation by a judge.
In a second-time-around ruling on accessorial liability, "exceptionally brilliant" inventor Kia Silverbrook and partner/fellow company director Janette Lee have this time failed to convince a court that they were not knowingly concerned in underpaying workers more than $1 million.