The Australian Government has announced further measures to help protect vulnerable workers by providing additional information and resources to visa holders so they understand their workplace rights.
Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash said it is rolling out improvements to visa grant notices across a range of temporary visas, with notices to students and temporary graduates to be updated next.
The Government has also launched a new Pay And Conditions Tool (PACT) so workers can easily check their pay rates and Cash pointed out that the best defence for temporary visa holders against being underpaid or treated unfairly in the workplace is to know their rights.
“All workers are entitled to the same pay, conditions and protections under Australian law, regardless of whether they are a temporary visa holder, a permanent visa holder or an Australian citizen,” says Cash. “The government is committed to ensuring that our temporary visa programmes are not used for worker exploitation and do not undermine Australian wages and conditions.”
While every person who is granted a temporary visa receives a visa grant notice from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, it has now improved the information in these notices so working holiday makers and 457 visa holders fully understand their workplace rights on issues including wages, discrimination, bullying and harassment.
Cash explained that this complements the recent launch of the Pay And Conditions Tool, available on mobile devices atcalculate.fairwork.gov.au, a Coalition Government initiative and she is encouraging all workers to check their pay using this tool.
Cash also pointed out that these measures build on the important work that is already underway with Taskforce Cadena, which is working with relevant agencies including the Australian Federal Police, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Australian Taxation Office, and state and territory agencies to ensure incidents of exploitation and visa fraud are appropriately investigated and the law is enforced.
“This Coalition Government is doing more than any previous government to ensure exploitation of workers is prevented and is committed to stamping out unscrupulous treatment of temporary visa holders,” says Cash
Courtesy Of Australia Forum
This is an excellent initiative and should assist in temporary visa holders being empowered with information. Unfortunately it will do little where employers (usually of the same ethnic background) recruit from countries where there are few alternatives, or worse where the livlihoods of family remaining in-country are leveraged, so the unlawful threat of visa cancellation in the event of complaint or non-compliance with activities in breach of their visas will continue until the department monitors the local labour force more effectively.