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The law protects you

November 2013, 29
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Australia Temporary Work Visa

Migrants who arrive in Australia under temporary working visas such as the Working Holiday Visa, are fully protected by the law to receive the same working rights as Australian citizens. The trouble has been that many migrant workers, especially those of younger and more inexperienced age aren’t aware of this and it’s been known for employers to exploit the fact by paying less than fair wages or overworking their staff. Fair Work Inspectors are set to begin a new project which will be a national programme aimed at helping employers to fully comprehend their obligations and ensure they are fully compliant with all working laws. Spot checks are also set to begin and this is the first of it’s kind because the main reason for them is to protect those who are not Australian Citizens.

Australia is a modern country, it has booming businesses and a great economy and authorities will do all they can to make sure that Australia remains at the forefront of a fair society. A main field for temporary migrant workers and indeed students with the eligibility to work, is during the harvest season in the country when the fields and pastures of full of riped fruit and vegetables waiting to be hand picked. Its a job many Australian citizens are not interested in doing and thus is a highly popular choice for non citizens. Employers have seen this industry as fairly uninspected but from October of this year when the new projects were first initialised there’s to be no way to get around the working laws of the land.

Temporary workers by law will all receive the same contracts and wages that Australian citizens can expect and if this is not done migrants have more rights than the employer with the Fair Work Ombudsman who within the last 3 years have recovered more than $225,000 for 139 migrant workers who were unfairly paid. The idea is that rather than solving the problems once the horse has bolted, the Fair Work act will ensure the horse doesn’t bolt in the first place by going to the source of the cause, Australia’s employers. It is beneficial to all to receive a thorough education on the law to be certain that nobody is taken advantage of and that nothing illegal will take place. Last year over $7,000 was awarded to 100 strawberry pickers who had been paid less than the going rate and also asked to work longer hours than is allowed by law. In todays society we will not see events like this take place in a country we are so proud of for having such diverse communities living in harmony.

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