wage theft protest underpayment
(Image: United Voice)

More than a quarter of small and medium businesses in Australia may be underpaying their staff, as a steady drip of data from Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) raids across the country paints a picture of widespread refusal by business to pay its staff properly.

Last Friday the FWO released the results of a monster inspection campaign targeting businesses in regional Queensland, Victoria and NSW, revealing that 22% of 1385 businesses inspected were underpaying staff. That was in addition to other breaches of workplace laws found, such as inadequate record-keeping.