The Federal Government has today announced that should they be re-elected the Fair Work Ombudsman will receive a $20 million funding boost in a bid to crack down on wage fraud throughout the country.
The 7-Eleven scandal, which is still in the forefront of many people’s minds is said to be the determining reason behind the power boost for the Fair Work Ombudsman. Not only would the Fair Work Ombudsman be getting a substantial rise in funding, but the ‘workplace watchdog’ is set to receive evidence-gathering power likened to those currently enjoyed by the ACCC, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the ATO. This will also be joined by harsher penalties for obstructing Fair Work Inspectors and/or providing misleading or falsified information.
While the proposed policies and powers would apply to all businesses and employers throughout the country, they also send a heavy message to Franchisors like 7-Eleven who have engaged/been linked to wage fraud.
It is not only our domestic workers who will be protected by the proposed government policy, overseas workers will have a closer eye kept on them to ensure their protection from exploitation in Australia with the proposed “migrant workers taskforce” to be established within the Fair Work Ombudsman, specifically engaged to look at the 7-Eleven case. This announcement comes after 7-Eleven sacked the independent panel engaged to investigate the wage fraud scandal.
Professor Fels (previously on the independent panel, and sacked last week by 7 E-Eleven) has supported the announcement of the Coalition commenting that “The new law to place an obligation on franchisors to incur a liability if they don’t adequately stop franchisees from breaking the law will have a powerful effect.”
For more information about how this might affect your business and to ensure you are prepared for a Fair Work Ombudsman crack down contact us today on 02 9083 0083.