Last week, the Fair Work Ombudsman issued a media release about taking civil action against a dodgy boss who owed one staff member over $60,000 in unpaid wages. But it was a strange case to crow about, as the same employer had previously been caught by the FWO for an earlier rip-off. Over four years, it had underpaid an employee by almost $30,000. The only consequence for that first infraction was to pay the employee what they were owed -- and promise not to do it again.
These promises, known as enforceable undertakings (EUs), are the preferred enforcement strategy of a regulator that emphasises co-operation with business ahead of prosecuting exploitation.