Researchers welcome Labor’s crackdown on wage theft
Law researchers and authors of the Wage Theft in Silence report welcomed Labor’s policy announcement to give underpaid workers an ‘efficient and effective avenue to reclaim unpaid wages’.
Labor announced that it will create a new small claims jurisdiction with funding for legal assistance for workers to file wage claims.
Senior law lecturer at UNSW Law, Bassina Farbenblum, and senior law lecturer at UTS Law, Dr Laurie Berg, released the Wage Theft in Silence report late last year.
The research found that more than half of temporary migrants surveyed were underpaid, but only a small minority were able to reclaim the wages owed to them.
“Our study on wage theft among almost 4,500 temporary migrant workers showed that underpaid migrant workers don’t get their money back and the system is broken,” Dr Berg said.
Farbenblum said there’s no way to break the cycle unless workers have a “quick, cheap and accessible avenue to reclaim the wages they are owed”.