Release type: Media Release


Stronger protections for temporary migrant workers


The Hon Tony Burke MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for the Arts

Temporary migrant workers will be given greater certainty about their workplace rights under new Albanese Labor Government legislation to be introduced to Parliament this week.

The Protecting Worker Entitlements Bill clarifies that migrant workers are entitled at all times to the same workplace protections as everyone else under the Fair Work Act 2009.

The change gives effect to recommendation 3 of the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce report, which this Government has committed to implementing in full.

Minister for Workplace Relations, Tony Burke, said the change would address a long-held concern expressed by migrant advocates that Australian workplace laws and conditions might not extend to them.

“As a result of this change visa workers will be left in no doubt they have the same rights and protection of other Australians,” Minister Burke said.

“This is an important step in reducing the opportunity for these workers to be exploited. 

“Temporary visa workers may have poor knowledge of their workplace rights or may be fearful about seeking help about pay and conditions and enterprise agreements, superannuation and workplace safety.

“Too often, these vulnerabilities are exploited by unscrupulous employers.”

These changes will enable visa holders who have been underpaid or exploited to have greater confidence to seek assistance from the Fair Work Ombudsman or other Government agencies – just as Australian citizens can.

“Temporary migrant workers make an essential contribution to our economy and society, and are entitled to the same workplace rights and protections as Australian citizens and permanent residents,” Minister Burke said.

“The Australian Government is committed to the fairer and more equitable workplace relations system Australians need, want and deserve.”