The Young Workers Centre, young workers and activists have campaigned hard to ensure wage theft laws that stop dodgy bosses stealing wages passed in Victoria.
In the past three years nearly 1000 young workers have come to the Young Workers Centre saying they've had their wages stolen. These requests make up the majority the body representing young workers receives.
In addition, young workers have campaigned over thousands of hours, knocked on doors, made phone calls and rallied outside businesses to ensure these laws were passed in Victoria.
Wage theft is a business model in which dodgy bosses steal millions of dollars of wages from young workers, often those who are in their first jobs. These bosses thought they could get away with stealing wages, penalty rates, superannuation and other entitlements because they wouldn't face significant fines or penalties.
Now, bosses found deliberately stealing wages, entitlements or superannuation can face up to 10 years in jail and fines of up to $198,264 for individuals and $991,320 for companies under new wage theft laws passed in Parliament today.
Quotes attributable to Director Young Workers Centre Felicity Sowerbutts:
"young workers have spoken out and taken action for years, and it's great that the government in Victoria has listened and legislated for change that will transform young workers' lives for the better."
"The wage theft business model will be stopped in its tracks because there will now be a real deterrent for dodgy bosses who have been stealing the wages of young workers."
"in the past, when a boss was caught out for stealing wages they got a slap on the wrist, this law means bosses can go to jail for ten years if they are found ripping off young workers."
Media contact: Kate Shuttleworth, 0447 418 726