Victoria First In Nation To Make Wage Theft A Crime

The Andrews Government promised to criminalise wage theft. We have delivered on that promise, protecting workers whose income and entitlements are too often withheld from them. Victoria is the first state in Australia to be making this important progression for all workers.

From the 1st of July 2021, wage theft is a crime in Victoria. Employers who deliberately underpay or do not pay their workers now face significant fines and jail time.

Under the Wage Theft Act 2020, which took effect on July 1, it is a crime for an employer in Victoria to deliberately underpay employees or dishonestly withhold wages, superannuation or other employee entitlements. This legislation covers dishonest conduct by employers who are seeking to deliberately avoid their lawful responsibilities.

Employers who make honest mistakes or who exercise due diligence in paying wages and employee entitlements are not guilty of wage theft offences.

To assist in the enforcement of this legislation and encourage proper procedures, a new statutory body in Wage Inspectorate Victoria has also begun operations.

Led by newly appointed Commissioner Robert Hortle, Wage Inspectorate Victoria has the power to investigate and prosecute wage theft offences. The body will also promote and enforce existing Victorian laws related to child employment, long service leave, and contractors in transport and forestry.

Allegations of wage theft can be reported to Wage Inspectorate Victoria via its website, which also contains comprehensive frequently asked questions, fact sheets, and information for employers about their responsibilities.

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Victoria Cautiously Moves Forward
July 7, 2021
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Edition 52: 28 June 2021
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