A new body should be established outside the FWO to exclusively address underpayments to temporary visa holders, argue the authors of a report which found that less than 2% of more than 2000 migrant workers surveyed successfully recouped all their unpaid wages through existing channels.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has begun the first proceedings using tougher new provisions relating to providing false and misleading documents during an investigation, Senate Estimates hearings have been told this week.
The Fair Work Ombudsman won more than $7.2 million in court-ordered penalties in the latest financial year, a 49% increase from the previous year reflecting more serious cases and courts' "growing intolerance for exploitative conduct against vulnerable workers".
Five migrant fruit pickers at the centre of a $10 million Federal Court claim against a labour hire company and its owners are seeking to be recognised as casuals, alleging their contracts for piecework were invalid and based average take home pay on an unrealistic workload.
The FWO has launched a challenge to last month's Federal Court order for the MUA to pay a $38,000 fine for a single contravention of the prohibition on unlawful strikes, when the watchdog was seeking $3.6 million for what it says was more than 500 breaches during industrial action against stevedore Hutchison Ports.