It's important for migrants, just like any other Australian, to learn what rights they have as a worker in Australia and how to report exploitation.In this podcast, the Fair Work Ombudsman provides information and advice about workplace rules in Australia.
"Migrants need to know that their work rights are exactly the same as those of any Australian worker," says Professor Alan Fels, head of the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce.
Pay, leave and entitlements
You’re entitled to the minimum hourly wage of $18.29 or $694.90 per 38 hour week (before tax). It can be more than that if you’re a casual employee (with casual loading) or if you qualify for a modern award. Use the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Pay calculator to find out what is your pay rate.
You can also find out about leave and entitlements on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
An employer might request that you do an unpaid trial to verify if you have the skills needed.
It’s acceptable, but only for the period of time required to demonstrate the skill, and if you’re supervised.
For example, if you apply for a job as a barista, you won’t need more than a few hours to show that you can do it.
Unpaid internships are only legal if they are part of a vocational placement or a government program.
If that is not the case, there should be no employment relationship between the employer and the person taking the role.
It means that they are there to learn and not to do the work of an employee. It should be for a short period of time, and to the benefit of the person taking the role.
Working under a visa
It’s your responsibility to know what are the working conditions under your visa.
It won’t be the same under a Student Visa as it is under a Working Holiday Visa.
Even if you haven’t abided perfectly to the rule of your visa, you shouldn’t be scared to report exploitation.
"We do have a protocol in place with the Department of Immigration where your visa won't be cancelled if you believe you've been exploited at work and you report those circumstances to us," Mark Lee, Director of Media for the Fair Work Ombudsman tells SBS Radio.
"So you don't need to worry about your visa when coming to us for help."
Reporting exploitation and abuse
You can report a case of exploitation at work by calling the Fair Work Ombudsman on 13 13 94.
If you need an interpreter, call TIS National on 131 450 and they will connect you.
If you don't want to reveal your identity, you can use this anonymous tool, available in 17 languages.
Safety at work
Workers in Australia are also entitled to a safe workplace. You should speak up if you don’t feel safe.You can get assistance from the government regulator in your state. There’s a list on the Safe Work Australia website.