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Farmers to plow out the exploitation of overseas workers

UnderpaymentsMay 7, 2015

Farmers to plow out the exploitation of overseas workers (Last Updated On: May 7, 2015)

ABC’s Four Corners episode ‘Slaving Away’ has sparked an outraged discussion on the treatment of overseas workers in Australia. Many Australian farms have been using unlawful labour contractors to find workers. These workers are exploited, underpaid and treated like slaves.

President of the National Farmers’ Federation, Brent Finlay, says that migrant workers are essential to the agriculture sector. Employing migrant workers on 417 visas is attractive to farmers who rely on seasonal workers. The nature of seasonal work, unfortunately, draws employers to abuse and breach their employment obligations.

Farmers using outsourced labour contractors have been caught out, and the Four Corners episode highlights a need to stamp out the mistreatment of these workers. The National Farmers’ Federation said that the mistreatment of workers had no place on Australian Farms. Botch labour hiring companies is a big cause for concern, any farmers using these companies to hire employees needs to be aware that they are taking a risk.

Farmers can no longer turn a blind eye, the Department of Immigration and Boarder Protection has introduced new rules. Workers on 417 visas will require payslips as evidence of work in Australia in order to obtain a second Working Holiday Visa. Any employer who fails to provide payslips is breaching the Fair Work Act.

The new laws provide benefits for farmers as well, by implementing the correct employment procedures and payslips they will not be subject to fines from the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Any farmer who chooses to disobey employment obligations will be investigated. The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Harvest Trail is a two year initiative to find farmers who are exploiting workers.

If you are unsure if you are meeting your obligations under the Fair Work Act, call Employsure today. Employsure caters for small business by implementing the tools to meet your employment obligations. Tailored documentation and payslips is one of the many services we provide to our clients. Call Employsure today on 1300 651 415 to find out how we can assist your business.

If you would like to view the episode ‘Slaving Away’ click here.

Sourced: ABC News

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