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September 2015

Oz Government aiming to protect temporary workers

Published: Thursday 10 September 2015

The Australian Government has announced further measures to help protect vulnerable temporary foreign workers and overseas students by providing additional information and resources to visa holders so they understand their workplace rights.

The Government will roll 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.

The best defence for temporary visa holders against being underpaid or treated unfairly in the workplace is to know their rights, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash said today.

“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,” she explained. “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.”

Cash continued: “Every person who is granted a temporary visa receives a visa grant notice from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. We’ve recently 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.”

This complements the recent launch of the Pay And Conditions Tool, available on mobile devices at calculate.fairwork.gov.au – all workers are encouraged to check their pay using this easy tool.

These important measures build on the important work that is already underway with Taskforce Cadena. The taskforce is working with relevant agencies including the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Taxation Office, and state and territory agencies to ensure incidents of exploitation and visa fraud are appropriately investigated and the law is enforced.