POSITIVE POLICY

Safeguarding Workers Rights

Recent examples of clear and widespread worker exploitation at notable companies have been met by silence and inaction from the Turnbull Government, despite continuous calls from Labor to give more power and resources to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

In 2015 we saw too many instances of workers’ rights trampled, not just by fly-by-night operations, but by household names.

Employers who deliberately underpay their workers not only deny working and middle class Australians a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, they also undercut employers who are doing the right thing for their workforce. It’s a distortion of the market that drags everyone down.

A Shorten Labor Government will stand up for working and middle class families. Labor will put people first, strengthening and protecting workers’ rights at work by:

  • Cracking down on the underpayment of workers, with increased penalties for employers who deliberately and systemically avoid paying their employees properly;
  • Ramping up protections for workers from sham contracting;
  • Giving the Fair Work Ombudsman the powers and resources to pursue employers who liquidate their companies in order to avoid paying the money they owe their workers
  • Introducing reforms to ensure that temporary overseas workers are not being exploited and underpaid and that there is a level playing field for all workers in Australia.

Labor’s package of reforms builds on its strong record of protecting wages and conditions and cracking down on worker exploitation. That is because only Labor understands that fairness at work helps to drive a more productive, competitive and prosperous economy.

Further information is available here.