ALP conference has approved groundbreaking amendments to the party platform to provide greater protections to temporary migrants.
The amendments moved by Unions NSW include establishing a “workplace justice visa” to protect migrants from deportation while seeking advice or pursuing action against exploitative employers.
The amendments also commit the party to:
Reducing workers’ dependence on employers including by creating self-nominated pathways to permanent residency
A parliamentary inquiry into the work limit on international students
A review of the requirement on working holiday visa holders to complete 88 days of approved work
“Temporary migrants who want to speak up against exploitation are currently forced into silence by the threat of deportation,” said Unions NSW secretary Mark Morey.
“There is a huge power imbalance because dodgy employers can retaliate by anonymously telling the Department of Home Affairs the worker is in breach of their visa.
“This unequal dynamic tarnishes Australia's immigration framework and global standing while enabling unscrupulous businesses to perpetually recruit new employees for exploitation.
“A new workplace justice visa will prevent this by allowing migrant workers who have been exploited or underpaid to remain in Australia while pursuing justice.
“We must also empower temporary migrants by allowing them to change jobs and apply for permanent residency without approval from their boss.”
There is no existing provision for a visa to give exploited migrants residency certainty when they seek justice over workplace exploitation.
Unions NSW believes the new visa should be under a new “workplace justice” stream created within the existing 408 visa subclass to prevent the singling out of migrants by future employers.
Charlie Moore: 0452 606 171