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Tenfold increase in Fair Work Act penalties considered by Government

Federal Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has announced that legislation will to be introduced to Parliament next week  to increase maximum penalties for breaches of the Fair Work Act to more than half a million dollars. Increasing fines tenfold to $540,000 for a company, and $108,000 for individuals.

This follows revelations that a number of Asian businesses have been caught paying staff half the minimum wage - using the excuse that wages are lower in Korea or China.

Takeaway food outlets, pubs and restaurants will also be singled out this year in a crackdown on "cashback'' scams, where bosses pay award wages but make workers hand back some of the cash.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James Yesterday warned that young Australian workers are not getting a "fair go'' as migrant bosses drive down wages.