The Federal Circuit Court has imposed a fine if almost $100,000 on a former Caltex franchisee who admitted falsifying wage records for migrant workers, prompting warnings that higher penalties are now possible.
Victorian Labor Premier Daniel Andrews has pledged to create a new labour inspectorate to police wage underpayments, which will offer a competing state-based jurisdiction to the Commonwealth's Fair Work Ombudsman.
As Unions NSW calls for an "ironclad" deportation amnesty for foreign workers involved in wage theft investigations, an IR academic says a complete firewall between the FWO and the Department of Home Affairs would help move the law enforcement focus from migrants to their employers.
A company providing first aid services at major events has been fined $250,000 for underpaying casuals after a medical certificate attesting its sole director was "unfit for work/school" over a five-day period that included the court hearing failed to secure an adjournment.
An FWO report released hot on the heels of Caltex's announcement that it will exit franchising has revealed non-compliance at 76% of audited sites and accuses the oil giant of contributing to breaches by failing to put effective systems in place, despite warnings.
The Federal Circuit Court has found a dental practice that entered into a sham contract to help an international student obtain a 457 visa breached multiple IR laws and underpaid her by almost $67,000, but compensation might be complicated by a finding that she was a party to the scam.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is frustrated it is failing to secure "any real commitment" from Caltex on a "compliance partnership" to handle underpayments by franchisees, despite being in talks for 18 months.