Australia’s Retail Laws Are Set To Tighten With Criminal Penalties Pending

Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has announced that they’ll be tightening up on retailers who exploit and underpay their workers. And the notice also comes with a hefty warning: that they may face criminal penalties too.

Australia's Retail Laws Are Set To Tighten With Criminal Penalties Pending

Following a recent wave of ACCC investigations that have already enforced penalties on retail giants such as 7-ElevenBeaurepaires AustraliaMichael HillSuper AMart and Lush Australia. Some are saying that the pending legislation is a bit harsh.

Despite Industrial Relations Minister and Attorney-General, Christian Porter, stating that the new criminal sanctions would send “a strong and unambiguous message to those employers who think they can get away with the exploitation of vulnerable employees”.

Australia's Retail Laws Are Set To Tighten With Criminal Penalties Pending

The minister will consult on the legislation with unions and employers over coming months as part of a review of the nation’s industrial relations system.

Victorian Attorney-General, Jill Hennessy, confirmed that work was under way on legislation and that the Victorian government would be talking to workers, unions, employers, community legal centres and academics.

Ms Hennessy takes a strong stance, stating, “Wage theft in the hospitality and retail industries is outrageous. Bosses who deliberately rip off their workers should go to jail.”

We want to know your thoughts on this hot topic!

Should employers/bosses be sent to jail if they underpay their staff? Or could it be a case that employers are actually struggling to pay their staff – hence underpaying them?

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Vicky Sofield

Vicky began her career writing fashion, lifestyle and music related articles for a diverse range of print and digital media outlets. Shortly thereafter – upon discovering that a vast majority of the fashion industry were being out-shadowed by the commercial conglomerates of the world – Vicky (who equally grew tired of having no creative freedom herself) set out to create her own digital publishing platform that focused on promoting the incredible talents of all creatives within the fashion industry. Which is how The Fashion Catalyst began in 2009.

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