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Protection for Migrant Workers: New Laws to Combat Exploitation

Protection for Migrant Workers: New Anti-Exploitation Laws

The Strengthening Employer Compliance Act, effective from 1 July 2024, brings robust measures to combat migrant worker exploitation in Australia. These new laws aim to reduce exploitation, increase employer compliance, and improve workplace justice outcomes. 

 

Addressing exploitation 

The new laws specifically target exploitation by making it illegal for employers and labour-hire intermediaries to coerce or pressure temporary visa holders to breach their visa conditions. Additionally, it is now unlawful to exploit workers based on their visa status, a significant step towards ensuring fair treatment for all employees. 

 

Protection scope 

Under these laws, a wide range of exploitative practices are addressed. Employers can no longer underpay migrant workers or pressure them to work beyond their allowed hours. Threatening to cancel a worker’s visa or coercing them into handing over their passport are also prohibited. Furthermore, the laws protect workers from being forced into unwanted sexual acts or accepting inadequate living conditions, such as poor housing or lack of basic amenities like water and electricity. 

 

Comprehensive protection 

These protections apply to all migrant workers, regardless of their visa status. This includes those who have valid work visas, expired visas, or are working in breach of their visa conditions. The legislation ensures that migrant workers are safeguarded from exploitation, creating a fairer workplace environment for everyone. 

For further details, visit the Migrant Worker Protections page on the Department of Home Affairs website. 

 

These changes significantly impact businesses by enforcing stricter compliance and protecting worker rights.  

 

For more information and to arrange an online consultation, please contact our expert team at aisupport@absoluteimmigration.com. 

 

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