If an employee took money from the till at work, there would be massive consequences and possibly even jail time.
But employers who underpay their staff by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars will only get a slap on the wrist. Mistakes can happen, but a lot of underpayments have become a business operating model.
Wage theft is now a criminal offence, punishable with jail time, in Victoria and Queensland.
That’s a huge victory for workers in those states. But it’s not enough. Wage theft needs to be criminalised across Australia.
Sign the petition today and show your support.
What’s the issue?
As a hair and beauty worker, whether you’re a senior stylist, barber, apprentice, beauty therapist, or salon assistant, your pay and conditions are set by the Hair and Beauty Award and the National Employment Standards.
Even if you have signed an individual pay agreement, your pay cannot be lower than what is set by the Award.
Wage theft happens when you’re paid less than what you’re entitled to under the Award, and there are lots of ways this can happen, such as:
- You’re paid less than your minimum hourly rate
- You’re paid on the wrong level of the Hair and Beauty Award (according to your skill and qualifications)
- You’re not paid penalty rates or overtime
- You’re not getting your superannuation
- You’re not paid allowances (i.e. for tools, travel, first-aid or managing a salon)
While wage theft is not yet a crime in most states, there are lots of things you can do to try and reclaim unpaid wages, and that’s where HSA can help!
What is HSA all about?
We’re Australia’s first union just for hair stylists, and we’re here to shake up the industry. HSA is an online-driven movement to bring hair stylists together and provide support and employment services for our members.
As well as joining our awesome nationwide network of hair stylists, members get access to:
- Expert advice to help reclaim stolen wages.
- Legal support for workplace disputes.
- Our online library of rights and entitlements to keep you informed.
- Reclaim and consolidate lost superannuation.
- Support to ensure you receive full entitlements at work, including breaks, overtime, penalty rates and super.
- Our network of amazing ambassadors and their professional advice.
Plus, you’ll be supporting all the work we do to help hair stylists across Australia, including:
- Fighting to protect penalty rates under the Hair and Beauty Award
- Securing equal pay for casual workers at the Fair Work Commission
- Getting more hair stylists access to long service leave
- Changing industry culture
- Advocating for industry safety from the salon floor to the corridors of power
- Raising awareness of workplace bullying and harassment
- Outreach programmes in training academies