Migrant Workers: Photo: ACRATH
In December 2019 the Australian Senate resolved to establish a Select Committee on Temporary Migration to inquire into and report on the impact temporary migration has on the Australian economy, wages and jobs, social cohesion and workplace rights and conditions. ACRATH prepared a submission for this Inquiry. In developing the submission ACRATH [Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans] drew on knowledge and experience gained through direct contact with temporary migrant workers who have been exploited and connections with local and faith communities in Australia and the Pacific. ACRATH’s submission presents 10 recommendations to the Australia Government including that the Government:
- implement a national labour hire licensing scheme that covers all industries
- introduce stringent penalties for wage theft
- provide a mechanism for workers to report unlawful workplace practices
- increase resources and powers to the Fair Work Ombudsman and the Australian Federal Police to undertake their functions in relation to issues covered under the Fair Work Act 2009
- explore mechanisms and processes to ensure migrant workers’ claims, for example wage redress and superannuation recompense, are dealt with expeditiously and workers’ visas are amended to allow them to remain in Australia until their case/s are resolved
Columban Leader in Australia Fr Peter O'Neill SSC, a member of ACRATH, contributed to the writing of the ACRATH’s submission to the Senate Select Committee on Temporary Migration.
A copy of ACRATH’s submission can be obtained on the Inquiry website as Submission 108.
Public hearing for this Inquiry will be held in September 2020 with the committee required to present its final report on or before 2 December 2020.