"Wage exploitation of temporary migrants offends our national values of fairness," the report says.
"It harms not only the employees involved but also the businesses which do the right thing."
Industrial Relations Minister Kelly O'Dwyer said the government had agreed to introduce criminal sanctions for the first time.
"The exploitation of workers in Australian workplaces is not only illegal, it harms individuals, undercuts law-abiding employers and reflects poorly on Australia's international reputation," she said.
"Only the most serious and egregious cases would be subject to criminal penalties, not employers that accidentally or inadvertently do the wrong thing."
But the plan faces opposition from big business, with the Australian Industry Group warning the new penalties could stifle investment.
Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox said civil penalties for industrial law breaches were an effective deterrent after being recently increased by up to 20 times.
"Implementing criminal penalties for wage underpayments would discourage investment, entrepreneurship and employment growth," he said.
Mr Willox said criminal cases would not deliver financial redress to workers but would put civil claims on hold until the court decided on the criminal matter.
Labor's employment spokesman Brendan O'Connor and immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann said there was no opportunity for the recommendations to become law before the federal election.
"This short-sighted Liberal government fails to recognise that exploitation affects both migrant and Australian workers," they said in a statement.
"They have made no effort to focus on the rip-offs by dodgy employers impacting on local Australian workers, which further erodes wages and disadvantages employers that do the right thing."
The task force also recommended a national labour hire registration scheme for four high-risk industries: horticulture, meat processing, cleaning and security.
Mr Willox said that proposal would impose an unreasonable cost and onerous regulatory burden on labour hire businesses.
Australian Council of Trade Unions president Michele O'Neil criticised the labour hire scheme for being a "light touch" placing the burden on workers to prove why bosses should stop exploiting them.
"Any serious attempt to address unscrupulous labour hire operators must ensure that labour hire companies cannot be used to cut wages in any sector of any person working in Australia," she said.