The labour hire company that last year laid out $150,000 to settle an underpayments claim brought by five fruit pickers has settled another case on behalf of more than 20 workers with "acceptable monetary terms" and the right to return to work.
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.
ACTU leader Sally McManus has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, asking him to implement a three-point plan that would lift aggregate annual wage growth from the current level of about 2.3% to about 3.5%.
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.
A senior FWC member has told an IR conference that problems associated with a "radical disjunct" between the common law and award definitions of casuals will "snowball" if not resolved, while the cause of stunted wage growth in the face of strong labour market conditions lies beyond orthodox thinking.
The Australian government needs to shake up the regulatory framework governing workplaces and competition if the country is to reignite wage growth and capitalise on the opportunities presented by the digital economy, according to an OECD report.