ATO, Industry News

Wage Underpayment Punishable by Jail Time in QLD

By Paolo, 10.09.2020

Wage Underpayment Punishable by Jail Time in QLD

On Wednesday 9th September 2020 the Palaszczuk Government passed the legislation making it a criminal offence for employers to knowingly underpay their staff. Directors and business owners in Queensland can now face jail time.

  • From Thursday 10th September, wage theft is a criminal offence in Queensland punishable by up to 10 years in prison for ‘stealing’ and a maximum of 14 years in jail for an offence of fraud;
  • Workers, or a Union on behalf of a worker, can initiate the process by making a complaint to Queensland Police;
  • The process involves conciliation for cases up to $20,000;
  • Workers, or a Union on behalf of a worker, can initiate a civil claim instead, through a new Industrial Magistrates Court if they choose.

Be Confident You Are Paying Correctly

Now more than ever, employers need to pay their employees correctly. This means employers must ensure that:

  1. Their employees are classified correctly under their applicable Award;
  2. Their employees are paid correctly under their classified Award or enterprise agreement;
  3. The correct allowances, penalty rates and other relevant entitlements are factored correctly when paying employees;
  4. Their employment pay rates and pay conditions are kept up-to-date with Fair Work ongoing changes and updates;

Evolution Cloud Accounting can give you confidential advice about you whether you are paying wages in accordance with the relevant modern award or enterprise agreement correctly, and demonstrate that your business has not knowingly underpaid staff even if a mistake is made.  Contact us for a confidential chat and let us take the stress of Payroll off your shoulders.


This blog and attached resources are of general nature designed for informational and educational purposes only. They should not be construed as professional financial advice for your individual business. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor.

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