Date posted: 14/02/2020

Submission on unlawful underpayment of employees' remuneration

Chartered Accountants ANZ responds to Economics References Committee on the terms of reference.

In consultation with our members, Chartered Accountants ANZ prepared and lodged a submission to the Economics References Committee on the terms of reference relating to unlawful underpayments of employees’ remuneration. 

Key Points of our submission: 

  • We consider it important to distinguish between underpayments made deliberately (with intent), the mis-classification of employees as contractors (sham-contractors) and those underpayments made due to error as a result of an overly complex system.
  • Some of our members have expressed their frustration with the frequency and complexity of changes to modern awards in Australia, which can result in confusion and errors.
  • Sham contracting has become the norm in some industries and we believe increasing transparency about this practice can assist regulatory authorities tackle this issue.
  • We suggest the Committee considers a primary focus on changing behaviour and improving organisational culture in relation to employee remuneration by focusing on both appropriate incentives and deterrents as well as encouraging the Fair Work Ombudsman to work more collaboratively with businesses. 
  • The recent introduction of Single Touch Payroll and its expected expansion may help incentivise renewed interest in achieving greater alignment across employment laws. The expansion could also include information on employee awards, which would provide a data point for the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO).

Our submission was lodged on Friday 14 February 2020. 

We would like to thank those members that contributed to our submission. 

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