The incentive to abuse migrant labour for profit remains firmly in place after the pithy $200,000 fine issued to George Calombaris’ MAdE hospitality group after underpaying staff $7.8 million in wages. From The ABC:
The celebrity chef’s hospitality group MAdE backpaid current and former employees the lost wages and will make a $200,000 “contrition payment” under a court-enforceable undertaking made with the Fair Work Ombudsman.
“I think that … fine, myself, is light,” [Attorney-General Christian] Porter said. “I have said that is an area where we will review penalties.
“I am open-minded to submissions that there should be firmer penalties there, inclusive of potentially criminal penalties reserved for repetitious breaches”…
Labor’s industrial relations spokesman Tony Burke said… employers should incur serious consequences for underpaying employees.
“If someone is deliberately and in a calculated way taking money that belongs to workers and keeping it to themselves I fail to see how that is different to a worker taking money from the till,” he said…
“[It’s] just really sad that people can’t see wage theft for what it is.”
Despite the crocodile tears, both sides of politics continue to run a big migration program centred around rorting of both the temporary and skilled programs, aimed at juicing headline GDP growth (but not GDP per capita) and lowering costs for business.
Neither will rock the boat and implement the systemic reform necessary to clean up the scam. And neither will lower Australia’s immigration intake to sensible historical levels.