Update – Criminalisation of Wage Theft in Queensland
Workers in Queensland are able to make claims for `wage theft’ through the Queensland Police Service (QPS) for any alleged offences that have occurred since 14 September 2020.
The concept of `wage theft’ is to punish employers who intentionally fail to pay required entitlements. Entitlements can include unpaid hours, underpayment of hours, unpaid penalty rates, unreasonable directions, unpaid superannuation, withholding underpayments, underpayments through incorrect classification or incorrect awards, or by the use of `sham contracting’.
Unlike other states, investigation of alleged wage theft offences is conducted by the police.
An investigation is initiated by the lodgement of a Wage Theft Report form with the QPS.
An employee can also pursue unpaid entitlements through other bodies, including the Fair Work Ombudsman or Federal Circuit Court (private sector employees), the Office of Industrial Relations (employees under state jurisdiction), or the Australian Taxation Office (superannuation recovery).
The Queensland government is likely to publicise prosecutions that have occurred since the commencement of the legislation during the next several months.
For queries about wage theft, employee entitlements, or other employment questions, please contact Dean Cameron at Workforce Advisory Lawyers – We Know Employment Law on 1300 WAL LAW, 0417 622 178 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: This information is provided as general advice on workplace relations and employment law. It does not constitute legal advice, and it is always advisable to seek further information regarding specific workplace issues. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.