The Morrison Government has opened the door to thousands of corporations to go “Scott Morrison” free from billions of dollars in wage theft.
“While Attorney-General Christian Porter was happy to talk big on penalties last week, the truth is the Morrison government is going soft on wage theft,” United Voice National Secretary Jo-anne Schofield said today.
“The amnesty-on-wage-theft legislation that allows corporations to report unpaid super without any fear of penalty is being pushed through Parliament right now.
“The legislation would allow thousands of corporations that have deliberately underpaid their staff’s superannuation to get off ‘Scott Morrison’ free from paying any penalties.
“The government is talking tough on wage theft while letting its big business mates escape without any penalty.
“At the same time workers are facing stolen superannuation in the billions of dollars because employers have no fear of consequences.
“Just this month these are just a fraction of wage theft cases we have been dealing with:
o In Victoria, courts have ordered owners of upmarket St Kilda restaurant Tolarno to pay three former staff more than $25,000 in outstanding wages and unpaid super, and they are still waiting to be paid.
o In Tasmania, employees have been left without 14 months of superannuation payments after the collapse of Glenorchy RSL.
o In Canberra, former workers of southern Indian restaurant, Binny’s Kathitto are fighting for unpaid superannuation amid a wide range of alleged wage theft breaches including making staff “buy” their holidays.
o ECEC Management Services, which runs four childcare services across Australia including Gumnut Childcare Centre in Lithgow, has not paid their workers superannuation since September 2018.
“In each of these cases Scott Morrison is trying to open the door for an amnesty on wage theft penalties for not paying workers the superannuation they are owed.
“This is outrageous neglect of workers who rely on being paid their full super entitlements to plan for a comfortable retirement.
“What’s the point of talking tough on laws and penalties if Scott Morrison is simply going to let bosses go ‘Scott Morrison’ free?
“This government has launched legal challenges to workers’ sick leave and holiday entitlements, it wants penalties for workers who take unfair dismissal cases and it now wants to clear the way for a free ride for super wage thieves.
“Governments need to act in response to exploitation of workers, not wave it through.
“There is no excuse for wage theft. Bosses need to know there are serious consequences if they steal workers’ wages.”