© 2017 Sebastian De Brennan. Barrister at Law

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Backpackers and international students suffer significant wage theft

November 29, 2017

Backpackers and international students suffer significant wage theft

 

Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a summary and general overview only. It is not intended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. You should seek legal advice from a lawyer (whether barrister or solicitor) working in the area of employment, migration and/or human rights law before acting or relying on any of its content.

 

On 21 November 2017 the findings of a national survey of temporary workers and Working Holiday Makers in Australia has uncovered systematic evidence of exploitation of backpackers and international students working in a range of industries. The study was carried out by UNSW, UTS and the University of Sydney. Touted as “the most comprehensive study of temporary migrants’ work and conditions in Australia”, the report draws on survey responses from 4,322 temporary migrants from 107 countries in all Australian states and territories.

 

The ‘Wage Theft in Australia’ report makes the following points:

  • 1/4 of all international students earn $12 per hour or less and 43% earn $15 or less in their lowest paid job.

  • 1/3 of backpackers earn $12 per hour or less and almost half earn $15 or less in their lowest paid job.

  • Workers from Asian countries receive lower wage rates than those from North America, Ireland and the UK.

  • The study also notes that workers from some countries are more likely to be paid in cash.

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Posted by Sebastian De Brennan, Barrister, s.debrennan@humanrightslaw.com.au

 

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