Road Safety Strategy inquiry begins
Chester appoints two leading industry experts to jointly chair the inquiry
Vulnerable workers will now have more protection under the Fair Work laws following the passing of the Amendment Bill by the Australian Senate last month.
Welcoming the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill 2017, Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says the changes will give Fair Work more powers to take action in cases of worker exploitation.
The amendment includes
an increase in maximum penalties for employers who deliberately out minimum wage and other entitlements’ rules under the Fair Work Act 2009.
In case of serious contraventions, the employers can face up to 10 times the current maximum penalties.
“A court could impose these higher penalties where an employer knew they were breaching their obligations and this conduct is part of a systematic pattern of behaviour,” the FWO states. “In such cases, maximum penalties of $630,000 and $126,000 per contravention could apply to corporations and individuals respectively.”
The Ombudsman states that during the previous nancial year, up to two-thirds of the FWO’s court cases involved alleged record-keeping or payslip contraventions, with nearly one third involving allegations of false or misleading records provided to the FWO.
The amendments moved by the Senate will double the maximum penalties for record-keeping and payslip breaches to: • $12,600 per contravention
for individuals • $63,000 for companies • Triple existing penalties in cases where employers give false or misleading pay slips to workers, or provide the FWO false information. The changes will come into effect once the Bill has received royal assent.