Queensland's Palaszczuk Labor Government will introduce legislation this month to mandate the licensing of labour hire companies from next year, setting the pace for other Labor states such as Victoria and South Australia.
Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says low penalties are creating a "perverse incentive" for a "dangerous minority" of employers to use inaccurate or incomplete records to conceal underpayments, forcing the watchdog to use novel, labour-intensive strategies to piece together employees' working hours.
In a rare decision on stand-down provisions under the Fair Work Act, the Federal Court has ruled that a contractor failed to comply with its obligation to pay its permanent part-time school cleaners normally during the 16 weeks of school holidays.
As the FWC calls for submissions on an employer bid to ditch the term "penalty rates" and replace it with "additional remuneration", a senior union-clientele lawyer is warning of a "slippery slope" if recognition of a need to compensate those working unsociable hours is removed.
The FWC has asked the Turnbull Government to clarify whether it intends to amend the Fair Work Act to enable the tribunal to make take home pay orders to potentially mitigate hardship flowing from its decision to cut hospitality and retail workers' penalty rates, and is seeking further submissions on transitional arrangements.
After what the FWO says is the first judicial review of one of its compliance notices, the Federal Circuit Court has found that a cook engaged at a Hindu temple was underpaid because he was wrongly classified as a priest under his employment contract.