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Wage theft to be targeted as a crime
20 October 2023
The newly appointed Fair Work Ombudsman has issued a stern warning to businesses, pledging to
use yet to be legislated criminal penalties against employers who deliberately underpay their
Anna Booth became the new Fair Work Ombudsman last month and is keen to make use of
harsher deterrents, in order to ensure that businesses do not exploit workers.
Sanctions including greater fines and potential jail time, would be some of the tools that would be
at her disposal if new wage theft laws are passed by federal parliament.
Ms Booth’s term as Ombudsman will last for five years, following eight years as a Deputy President
of the Fair Work Commission from 2012 to 2020.
Speaking to ABC Radio, Ms Booth noted that as long as the criminal standard had been met, then
criminal penalties could flow, and that the office of the Ombudsman would not hesitate to enforce
Adelaide, South Australia