Proposed laws to increase penalties and criminalise wage theft!

Closing Loopholes Bill 2023

Closing Loopholes Bill 2023 

Not since its commencement in 2009 has there been such expansive changes to the Fair Work Act as the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill 2023 proposes.

The Federal Government is moving to introduce, the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes) Bill 2023 (bill), designed to close ‘loopholes’ which are allegedly being exploited by some employers.

One of the key elements that would raise concern for Australian organisations among the many proposed changes is ‘criminalising wage theft’.

The bill introduces stringent consequences for employers found deliberately underpaying employees, including the possibility of imprisonment and substantial fines.

Employers who commit inadvertent errors are not subject to penalties, and provisions exist to protect proactive employers who voluntarily report and rectify their mistakes. This move is a significant step in incentivising employers to adopt a proactive approach to payroll monitoring and compliance.

Employers must establish comprehensive compliance monitoring systems and ensure active participation from directors and executives to avoid penalties.

Also, at the same time came the announcement of extra funding for the Fair Work Ombudsman who will receive $32 million across the next four years to implement wage theft reforms. This will likely continue the trend of increased surveillance across Australian organisations.

How will you be impacted by these changes? With the imminent change in legislation is now the right time to consider proactive compliance measures, the use of technology to audit the process. WageSafe audits your payroll in real time and ensures underpayments do not remain undetected.

For more information regards WageSafe or understand more about the changes and how they could impact you and your business please contact

Sep 22, 2023

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