Employment Relations Podcast #38 – Wage Theft: Go Directly to Jail?


Authors: Chris Hartigan, Emily Haar, Jack Bourke

Service: Employment & Labour | Employment Relations Podcast

One of the few constants in life and business is change.  Come 1 January 2025, a significant shift will take place for national system employers when criminal wage theft provisions come into effect because of changes in the Closing Loopholes Reforms.  But what does “wage theft” mean, and in what circumstances will criminal prosecution occur?

In this episode of Piper Alderman’s Employment Law for the Time Poor Podcast, Partners Emily Haar, Principal Chris Hartigan, and Senior Associate Jack Bourke discuss:

  • The differences between civil underpayments and criminal wage theft;
  • How the new regulatory model closely resembles the approach of the model work health and safety legislative provisions, requiring a more proactive response from organisations;
  • When an underpayment is “intentional”;
  • New ways to engage with regulators;
  • Significant increases to civil penalties, and expansion of serious civil contraventions to include “reckless” conduct; and
  • Wage compliance as a governance issue.

For even more practical insights, on 20 February 2024, our Adelaide team presented on “wage theft” and civil underpayments.  Register to view a recording of the webinar here.

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