The Morrison Government has introduced legislation to crack down on "sharp corporate practices" such as phoenix companies and asset-shifting by employers that are seeking to avoid paying employee entitlements.
In a development that might fuel debate over the links between union power and wage rises, substantially above-average pay increases secured in the heavily-unionised construction sector have pushed bargained private sector wage rises off their recent historic low.
A Senate inquiry has recommended passage of a bill that scraps mandatory four-yearly award review and has backed the FWC's proposal to backdate provisions allowing the tribunal to correct minor errors in bargaining notices.
Private sector enterprise agreements approved in the September quarter paid an average wage rise of 3.4% a year, after construction deals providing substantial annual increases helped to lifted bargained wage deals out of the doldrums, new Department of Employment data reveals.
The Department of Employment has clawed back $54 million from failed businesses in the first 12 months of its enhanced program to recover funds outlaid under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee, more than doubling the previous year's figure.
Former ACCC chair Allan Fels will head a migrant workers taskforce that will advise the Coalition on policies to improve employment protections for overseas workers and monitor 7-Eleven's rectification of underpayments, Employment Minister Michaelia Cash announced this morning.