Systemic, sustained and shameful

March 2022

© Commonwealth of Australia 2022
ISBN: 978-1-76093-399-9

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Abbreviations and acronyms

List of Recommendations

Chapter 1—Background

  Inquiry referral and process
  Extent of underpayment
  Categories of wage theft
  Factors contributing to underpayment

Chapter 2—Underpayment victims and impacts

  Effects of underpayment

Chapter 3—Current regulatory framework

  Regulatory bodies and organisations
  Australia's system of wages and entitlements
  Wages compliance and enforcement regime
  Superannuation Guarantee

Chapter 4—Underpayment in universities

  Setting the scene
  Underpayment as a business model
  Structure of underpayments

Chapter 5—Potential measures to address underpayment

  Improving protections for workers
  More accessible avenues for justice
  Improving education and advocacy
  More effective compliance and enforcement
  Improving recovery of unpaid superannuation guarantee contributions
  Other regulatory and structural reforms
  Addressing underpayments in the university sector

Chapter 6—Committee view

  Systemic, sustained and shameful
  Penalties for wage theft
  Pursuit of wage theft claims
  Investigation of wage theft
  Superannuation theft
  Migrant workers
  Australian Government procurement

Dissenting report by Government Senators

  Australian Building and Construction Commission
  Measures taken by the Government
  Comments on Recommendations

Appendix 1—Submissions and additional information

Appendix 2—Public hearings

Committee Secretariat contact:

Senate Standing Committees on Economics
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3540