Stealing is wrong, and yet every year thousands of Australian workers are robbed. They are the victims of wage theft. Wage theft, through employers deliberately underpaying workers and refusing to pay mandatory superannuation, is affecting thousands of workers every year. It is employers stealing money from workers pockets.
The current laws make wage theft too easy and the punishment too light. Wage theft is now so common that in some places it’s the business model. There are business owners all over Australia getting rich by stealing from their staff and the current industrial laws make it far too easy.
There are many examples that have come to light in recent months. Wage theft is rapidly becoming business as usual.
It is too hard for union officials to inspect the wage records to keep employers honest.
According to Industry Super Australia, a staggering one-third of eligible Australian workers are being underpaid super. This is 2.4 million workers collectively having $3.6 billion a year stolen from them each year. This is another case of wage theft that will impact workers for decades to come, decimating the right to dignity in retirement to which all working Australians are entitled.
Recovering wages through the courts is difficult. It’s costly and drawn out process. Recovering superannuation through the tax office is even harder. It’s just more evidence that the system is broken. The best way to fight wage theft is to join your union and change the rules.