Bill targets employers that shirk responsibilities

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Bill targets employers that shirk responsibilities

An amendment designed to crack down on illegal pheonixing and exploitation of the FEG scheme has passed in the House of Representatives.

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A bill designed to crack down on illegal pheonixing and exploitation of the FEG scheme has passed in the House of Representatives. 

The Corporations Amendment (Strengthening Protection for Employee Entitlements) Bill passed yesterday, with multiple Labor MPs backing the new provisions. 

The bill amends the Corporations Act 2001, to strengthen enforcement and recovery options and prevent employers from improperly transferring their employee entitlement costs to the taxpayer by exploiting the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG)

The bill contains new provisions to ensure that company directors of two or more companies that have relied on the FEG scheme and breached the Corporations Act twice or more are disqualified from using the scheme again. 

Bill scores Labor's stamp of approval


In the bill’s second reading yesterday, Labor backed the new provisions. 

“This bill will amend the Corporations Act to make it easier to prove the criminal offence of entering into an arrangement to avoid paying employee entitlements by including recklessness as a fault element (and) significantly increasing the maximum fine for the offence of entering into an arrangement to avoid paying employee entitlement,” said Labor MP Cathy O’Toole.

“Although Labor supports this bill, it could still be improved to give registered organisations standing to commence civil proceedings under the new provisions for compensation and the recovery of unpaid entitlements.”

MP for Dobell, Emma McBride said: “Labor is glad to finally see a bill which will have some benefit to workers come onto the government's agenda. Legitimate businesses do from time to time fail, but it is particularly disturbing that workers can lose their entitlements where a company deliberately structures its arrangements to avoid paying them.”
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