CRIMINAL SANCTIONS FOR MIGRANT WORKER EXPLOITATION

After years of committed campaigning the Migrant Workers Centre is celebrating recent changes to the Migration Act, which offer stronger protections for migrant workers and harsher penalties for exploitative employers.

Migrant workers often face challenges in exercising their rights, including OHS protections, due to fear of losing jobs or residency status.

Recent amendments address this by providing visa cancellation protections, criminalising employer exploitation, and increasing transparency.

The reforms make it a crime to exploit workers based on their migration status and increase penalties for offending employers. The legislation responds to recommendations from the Migrant Workers Taskforce, including criminalising employer coercion of migrant workers and banning convicted employers from hiring temporary migrants.

It also allows for the publication of banned employer names and introduces stronger penalties for breaches of migration laws. Additionally, the legislation introduces new enforcement measures such as enforceable undertakings and compliance notices.

The Migrant Workers Centre views these changes as a significant step toward justice and fairness for migrant workers, fostering a more equal and respectful workplace culture.

‘We welcome these changes and look forward to working with the Parliament to continue to improve conditions for migrant workers.  By enhancing protections and accountability measures, this bill not only improves the rights of migrant workers but opens the door to a more equal and respectful culture in our workplaces.’

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