Govt orders crackdown on bosses exploiting visa workers

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Govt orders crackdown on bosses exploiting visa workers

The Federal Government is moving to ensure that exploitation of foreign visa workers is investigated by the Workplace Ombudsman and the ABCC.

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The Federal Government is moving to ensure that exploitation of foreign visa workers is investigated by the Workplace Ombudsman and the ABCC.
 
IR Minister Chris Evans will meet with the heads of both organisations soon to ensure employers not obeying the law are prosecuted.
 
Senator Evans said he is increasingly concerned by reports of companies attempting to exploit foreign workers and undermine the wages and conditions of Australian workers.
 
Priority
 
‘Australian workers have priority for Australian jobs,’ he said.
 
‘Employers are able to sponsor workers under 457 visas if suitably skilled Australian workers are not available to fill the jobs.’
 
‘The visa rules are very clear and employers can face severe penalties for hiring people who do not have work rights in Australia or employing overseas workers under conditions not equivalent to Australians.’
 
Evans said he had requested an urgent briefing from both the Fair Work Ombudsman and the ABCC into recent reports of exploitative practices.
 
‘In coming days I will meet with Fair Work Ombudsman Nick Wilson and ABCC Commissioner Leigh Johns to ensure these reported incidents are being properly investigated,’ he said.
 
No tolerance
 
‘The Government will not tolerate Australians being forced out of work as a result of illegal and exploitative practices.’
 
‘Overseas workers play a critical role in meeting critical skills shortages but they cannot be used as a source of cheap labour. They must be paid no less than an equivalent Australian worker.’
 
Senator Evans said overseas workers are also afforded the same protections against exploitation as Australian workers under Australian law.
 
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