Under changes that came in on 1 March 2021, Queensland workers who have been underpaid can recover what they are owed more easily by lodging a claim in the Industrial Relations Commission.

Claims can be for penalty rates, unlawful or unreasonable deductions from wages and superannuation.

Small claims, of up to $20,000 for workers employed under the Federal Fair Work Act and $50,000 for workers in the Queensland state system, will be dealt with through informal court proceedings.

The first step for workers is to approach an industrial commissioner for conciliation. If the claim cannot be resolved through conciliation the next stage is to proceed to the Industrial Magistrates Court.

Wage theft became a criminal offence in Queensland in 2020 and this system, created to align with this, allows claims to be resolved in a cheaper and easier way with workers not needing to engage lawyers.

Visit qirc.qld.gov.au/long-service-leave-and-wages for more information.