OZ Task Force Investigate Exploitation: Foreign Workers In Australia

Australian Government Making New Moves: Foreign Workers In Australia

A special task force has been developed in Australia to protect the rights of overseas workers. It will ensure that foreign workers in Australia do not have to work long unpaid hours or be paid less than the minimum wage, in addition to improving the legal system and enforcement of it to prevent migrant workers from being abused. The Fair Work Act 2009 is being amended to safeguard foreign workers in Australia from workplace abuse, with punishments being added for unscrupulous employers in a bid to make the workplace fairer for all workers regardless of nationality. It will become illegal to offer false job details to Fair Work inspectors, and employers can run the risk of being put in prison if they fail to deal with abuse.

Foreign workers in Australia have been more vulnerable in the past to abuse, with passports being held, money not being paid and extra hours added to the working day. Traditionally overseas workers have worried about losing their right to work in Australia if they voice concerns so may have kept their peace even when they realised that they were being exploited.

These changes will ensure that foreign-born employees are protected and will thus be more likely to want to stay in Australia on a long-term basis. Currently, there is a recruitment drive to attract skilled workers to move to Australia to take up hard to fill positions such as in engineering or management.

The Australian government has realised that if it is to truly benefit from being able to attract the best and brightest workers globally then it has to safeguard them once they arrive in Australia. The task force will ensure that their rights are protected and that every foreign worker in Australia has the same rights as a native born employee.

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