Lawyers have today welcomed the announcement by the Palaszczuk Labor Government that legislation will be introduced to make wage theft a crime in Queensland.
Maurice Blackburn Principal Giri Sivaraman, who has acted in a number of wage theft claims including for 7-Eleven employees, said the new laws were an important step in stopping the exploitation of workers.
“Too often in these cases the balance is tipped in favour of the employer responsible for perpetrating the wage theft, and it can be a very difficult process for a worker to bring a claim for underpayment in seeking to get back wages they are owed,” Mr Sivaraman said.
“But these new laws show that exploitation of workers, particularly those on low wages, will no longer be tolerated. Until now, workers who have been stolen from have faced considerable challenges just to come forward and report their stolen wages.
“These laws are a testament to the hard work of unions and others in the social justice movement who have worked tirelessly to ensure employees are fairly compensated for their work and efforts. No longer will wage theft be considered a victimless crime.”