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Employers break 457 visa laws and workers speak broken English

UnderpaymentsAugust 11, 2014

Employers break 457 visa laws and workers speak broken English (Last Updated On: August 11, 2014)

The Fair Work Ombudsman has found that 40% of overseas workers on 457 visas have been underpaid and are not working the permitted job that they were assigned to. The FWO also found that 420 cases where foreign workers were no longer employed by their sponsor or whose sponsor could not be located. These statistics have been released in the wake of controversial changes to the 457 visa requirements.

On one hand the Abbot government is making changes for the better, visa applications will become simpler and companies with a good track record will have “fast tracked” approvals. Overseas workers will be protected and earn the same income as Australian citizens, this will ensure dramatic improvements to overseas workers’ welfare.

However there is one change causing some controversy, the English language requirements for overseas workers will be relaxed. It was found that the current language requirements were unnecessarily restrictive and there will be more leniency implemented on the English language test.

The ACTU president Ged Kearney told ABC radio that “loosening language skills and requirements could have dire consequences”. These employees will not be able to understand directions given by employers will not have the ability to read employment contracts or handbooks. Ms Kearney also said
“If they can’t read instructions … if they find it difficult to grasp occupational health and safety, I’m afraid we’re going to see a lot more accidents, maybe even more fatalities at work sites.”

If your company employs overseas workers on 457 visas or other similar visas and you need clarification that you are paying your staff appropriately or if you need support in the hiring process of overseas workers call Employsure today on 1300 651 415. We can take you through the steps to ensure that you are correctly following the right procedures so that you are not faced with an employment relations claim. We can also guide you through the recent changes to make sure that your policies and processes are up to date.

*Information sourced via The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald.

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