Joint letter to the Migrant Worker Tasforce on key reforms

Laurie Berg and Bassina Farbenblum joined a number of unions, academic and other stakeholders in presenting Key reforms to address employer exploitation of temporary migrant workers: A joint letter to the Migrant Worker Taskforce

Key proposed reforms include:

  • Reduce the vulnerability of temporary migrants through immigration law and visa reforms, and by introducing a 'firewall' between the Fair Work Ombudsman and Immigration Department
  • Provide equal workplace rights to all temporary migrants including migrants working in breach of their visa, and prohibit discrimination based on migrant status
  • Enable temporary migrants to effectively enforce their workplace rights including enhancing their ability to collectively organise (especially in unions); enabling easy access to support and effective and affordable enforcement avenues; and ensuring an enforcement authority dedicated to protecting their rights, working in concert with other well-resourced organisations
  • Regulate high risk areas, including cash-in-hand industries, labour hire entities, sham contracting and accommodation providers
  • Prevent employers profiting from law-breaking by making penalties sufficiently deterrent and placing the onus of proof on employers who do not provide payslips, without exception
  • Ensure that beneficiaries of work are accountable when they are able to influence employment practices, including within supply chains and sub-contracting relationships
  • Recognise that with the passage of time temporary migrant workers can become settled members of Australian society, at which point they should have greater access to services and a pathway to residence