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What happens to international students when their employer goes bankrupt?

Closing down sign Source: Getty Image

The exploitation of international students in Australia has been exposed and made worse during the coronavirus pandemic. Some experts warn it has the potential to create a new temporary underclass of workers in Australia. As part of a special series, SBS explores what happens to students when their employer goes bankrupt.

Government statistics show there were more than 628,000 international students in Australia between January and April this year.

They're allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight with exceptions made during coronavirus for those working in aged care and nursing.

Given the majority work in retail and hospitality and these are the sectors hardest hit, the threat of bankruptcy and no government safety net is real for these students.

We also need an effective and accessible wage recovery forum as well, the fair work ombudsman is not a worker advocate and it is not set up to conduct large scale wage recovery in individual cases and they only investigate a very small number of cases anyway.

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