22 July 2019

Christian Porter is preparing to respond to demands for the criminalisation of wage theft, but to define it ‘carefully’ [$] so that it doesn’t actually capture most crooked businesses: “As to the proposition that there could be further penalties for underpayment, including at the very, upper reaches, criminal penalties, I think that is a debate and discussion worth having, and I am open-minded to it. But those types of penalties would have to realistically be reserved for the most serious instances of underpayment. I think, generally speaking, they would be indicated by many counts, so repetitive underpayment, or, indeed, people who have a history of doing this type of thing previously. … [I]f you were to take the step of having criminal penalties for serious, repetitious instances of underpayment, how would you define those?” The question should not be whether it is repetitious — it should be whether it is deliberate.