Senate Inquiry into Wage and Superannuation Theft

On Wednesday 13 November 2019, Tasmanian Senator and Opposition Whip in the Senate, Senator Urquhart, moved a motion that the matter of unlawful underpayment of employees’ remuneration be referred to the Senate Economics References Committee for inquiry.

The report is due by the last sitting day in June 2020 and will address the extent and amount of unlawful

underpayment of employees’ remuneration by employers, with particular reference to:

  • the forms of and reasons for wage theft and whether it is regarded by some businesses as ‘a cost of doing business’;
  • the cost of wage and superannuation theft to the national economy;
  • the best means of identifying and uncovering wage and superannuation theft, including ensuring that those exposing wage/superannuation theft are adequately protected from adverse treatment;
  • the taxation treatment of people whose stolen wages are later repaid to them;
  • whether extension of liability and supply chain measures should be introduced to drive improved compliance with wage and superannuation-related laws;
  • the most effective means of recovering unpaid entitlements and deterring wage and superannuation theft, including changes to the existing legal framework that would assist with recovery and deterrence;
  • whether Federal Government procurement practices can be modified to ensure that public contracts are only awarded to those businesses that do not engage in wage and superannuation theft; and
  • any related matters.

The Senate Standing Committees on Economics: References Committee Members include the Chair, Senator Alex Gallacher and the Deputy Chair, Senator Slade Brockman and members: Senator Andrew Bragg, Senator Jenny McAllister, Senator Rex Patrick, Senator Jess Walsh.

The Committee has called for submissions to be submitted before 14 February 2020 and is yet to establish hearing dates. These will be advertised on the Committee website:

Further information

For more information, please contact your Hawker Britton consultant Simon Banks on +61 419 638 587. Further Hawker Britton Occasional Papers on the activities of the Federal Opposition are available here.

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