ACCI has called on the federal government to fund 50 additional FWO inspectors to address the "serious problem" of underpayments, while also recommending an increase in the FWC's budget to hasten agreement approvals.
The Federal Circuit Court has fined a former 7-Eleven operator more than $154,000 for using a cash-back scheme to circumvent a biometric payroll system introduced by head office to stamp out underpayments.
A small coach company that voluntarily repaid two drivers almost $44,000 after admitting underpaying them has been penalised a total of $168,300, despite a judge finding the breaches were a result of "clumsiness and inadvertence" rather than deliberate.
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".