Proposed exploited worker reforms welcome but change is needed now warns lawyers for 7-Eleven victims
1 February 2016
Moves to strengthen legal protections for Australian workers to prevent more 7-Eleven style employment scandals are a good step forward, but there must be bi-partisan support to ensure immediate help for victims of unscrupulous employers, warns leading Industrial Relations law firm Maurice Blackburn Lawyers.
Maurice Blackburn, which is representing 7-Eleven workers caught up in the convenience store exploitation racket, has welcomed Labor’s suite of reforms announced today, including stronger penalties for employers who underpay staff.
“This is an important public dialogue to be having but the reality is there are still vulnerable workers being victimised across Australia every day,” said Maurice Blackburn Employment Principal, Giri Sivaraman.
“Many workers right across Australia are still being underpaid or falling victim to sham contracting, and we would urge the Federal Government to put in place appropriate legislative changes to protect these workers as soon as possible,” said Mr Sivaraman.
Maurice Blackburn has already advised hundreds of 7-Eleven employees who have fallen victim to unscrupulous activity at the convenience store chain, amid claims of underpayment and intimidation.
“We would also like to see an extensive education campaign for overseas workers about their employment rights in Australia. This will help address the systematic exploitation of foreign workers across many industries,” said Mr Sivaraman.