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List of Recommendations

Recommendation 1

2.30
The committee recommends the Government take immediate steps to protect vulnerable workers subject to wage theft and exploitation by companies who continue to operate with impunity.

Recommendation 2

2.31
The committee recommends that upon receipt of the final report of the Migrant Workers' Taskforce, the Government:
immediately publicly release the report along with the Taskforce's Progress Report; and
within a month, publicly release its response.
2.32
The committee further recommends that the Government take into account the evidence and recommendations of this committee's report in preparing its response to the Migrant Workers' Taskforce report.

Recommendation 3

3.73
The committee recommends that the Fair Work Ombudsman, when negotiating future proactive compliance deeds, cease determining arbitrary cut off dates for underpayment recovery schemes, but rather set appropriate timeframes so that all instances of non-compliance can be captured and rectified.

Recommendation 4

3.74
The committee recommends that the Fair Work Ombudsman provide Woolworths with the contact details of the Tasmanian cleaners impacted by underpayments so that Woolworths can contact these individuals directly to begin the repayment process.

Recommendation 5

3.75
The committee recommends that Woolworths immediately reassess the methods and resources it is using to communicate with cleaners affected by non-compliant behaviour to make it clearer that recourse is available to them and take steps to properly determine the scale and impact of wage theft and non-compliance in Woolworths supermarkets across the nation.

Recommendation 6

3.89
The committee recommends that the Government not solely rely on voluntary measures such as the Cleaning Accountability Framework to address the gaps in legal protections for workers.

Recommendation 7

4.41
The committee recommends that the Australian National Audit Office conduct a performance audit on the extent to which Commonwealth entities are using public resources in an ethical manner in compliance with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

Recommendation 8

4.42
The committee recommends that the Department of Finance immediately renegotiate the contract with Broadspectrum in order to properly account for the previous working conditions of the cleaners.

Recommendation 9

4.57
The committee recommends the Department of Finance broaden the Commonwealth Procurement Rules to preclude a tenderer from entering a contract with any corporation or an associated entity that has been penalised on more than one occasion for being non-compliant with any employee entitlement laws.

Recommendation 10

5.43
The committee recommends that for consistency the Fair Work Act 2009 be amended to extend the protections for vulnerable workers from franchise arrangements to other business models such as subcontracting and labour hire arrangements.
5.44
In particular the committee recommends that the Fair Work Act 2009 be amended so that a person (whether an individual or a corporate entity) should be liable for an employer’s contravention of the National Employment Standards, an industrial instrument, the rules concerning the payment of wages or the keeping of records, or the prohibitions on sham contracting, where the person:
has a significant degree of influence or control over the employer’s affairs, or over the wages or employment conditions of the relevant employee(s);
knew or could reasonably be expected to have known that the contravention (or a contravention of the same or a similar character) would occur; and
cannot show that they have taken reasonable steps to prevent a contravention of the same or a similar character.
5.45
The committee recommends that the amendment specify that whether a person has significant influence or control over wages or employment conditions should be determined by reference to the substance and practical operation of arrangements for the performance of the relevant work.
5.46
The committee further recommends that the amendment specify that person should be deemed to have significant influence or control if it sets or accepts a price for goods or services, or for the use of property, at a level that practically constrains the capacity of the relevant employer to comply with its obligations.
5.47
The committee also recommends that the proposals put forward by WEstjustice be adopted in so far as they are consistent with the above recommendations.

Recommendation 11

5.57
The committee recommends that the Government establish a review into the effectiveness of collective bargaining under the current legislative framework to address stagnating wages and bargaining power imbalances.

Recommendation 12

6.18
The committee recommends that the Government consider an appropriate legislative framework to address the problems identified with pyramid subcontracting.

Recommendation 13

6.30
The committee recommends that the Government, in consultation with all states and territories, establish a national labour hire licensing scheme.

Recommendation 14

6.44
The committee recommends that the Government work to implement its announced reforms to combat illegal phoenixing, such as the Director Identification Number scheme, as swiftly as possible.

Recommendation 15

6.45
The committee recommends that the Government work to amend legislative confidentiality restrictions inhibiting the ability for the Australian Taxation Office to receive information from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and other key government agencies in order to better assist in the anticipation, identification and prevention of illegal phoenix activity.
6.46
The committee also recommends that any legislative amendments to promote improved information sharing be matched with appropriate resourcing and engagement with industry as well as procedural safeguards.

Recommendation 16

7.17
The committee recommends that the Government adequately fund the Fair Work Ombudsman in its efforts to provide tailored assistance to vulnerable workers, particularly those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Recommendation 17

7.18
The committee recommends that the Government work with industry stakeholders and unions to develop and fund targeted education programs aimed at assisting vulnerable workers from migrant and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to navigate the Australian workplace relations system.

Recommendation 18

7.19
The committee recommends that the Government fund not-for-profit community legal centres to enable such organisations to expand their work in community legal education and provide tailored assistance to vulnerable workers experiencing exploitation.

Recommendation 19

7.32
The committee recommends that the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Department of Home Affairs consider revising their current protocol regarding the cancellation of temporary visas for individuals who come forward to report exploitation in order to provide greater certainty to migrant workers that they will not be punished for reporting the noncompliant behaviour of their employer.

Recommendation 20

7.45
The committee recommends the Government consider the findings and recommendations made in the 'Wage Theft in Silence: Why Migrant Workers Do Not Recover Their Unpaid Wages in Australia' report in conjunction with its consideration of the forthcoming report of the Migrant Workers' Taskforce.

Recommendation 21

7.47
The committee recommends that the Government provide additional funding to the Fair Work Ombudsman in order to provide more direct assistance to individual vulnerable workers to recover unpaid wages.

Recommendation 22

7.61
The committee notes that workers who access union support have greater success in ensuring their wages and entitlements are compliant with the law. The committee recommends that the Government ensure that workers have appropriate access to union advice and support.

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