Late last month, the University of Technology Sydney released a study claiming Australia had a “large, silent underclass of underpaid migrant workers” with backpackers and international students owed more than $1 billion in unpaid wages.
Now, a national audit by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has revealed that 38% of employers caught underpaying employees were still doing it when re-audited by the FWO. From The Australian:
The ombudsman re-audited 479 business that had previously broken workplace laws, with 38 per cent still not meeting their legal obligations to employees… only two of the 184 businesses still breaching the Fair Work Act were prosecuted…
Of the businesses that remained non-compliant, the agency recovered $244,246 from 98 employers for 347 workers…
ACTU secretary Sally McManus said there were about 200 agency inspectors charged with enforcing workplace laws for more than 12 million workers.
What do you get when you add ever more cheap foreign labour to an oversupplied labour market? A complete breakdown in industrial relations as firms give up on training and full time employment and instead import cheap, easy come, easy go foreign alternatives. You’d be mad as business to do anything else if offered it.
The end result in mass underemployment and low wages growth.