Tens of thousands of migrants went to Australia for work and ended up with minimum wage payments.
A new Grattan Institute report confirmed exploitation of migrant workers is pretty common in Australia.
According to the report, nearly 16% of migrants who arrived in Australia recently were paid less than the minimum wage of $21.38, which is more than twice the amount underpaid local workers earned.
What’s important to note here is that 82,000 migrant workers earning below the minimum wage on temporary visas included overseas students, New Zealand citizens, seasonal employees, skilled temporary residents, and working holiday makers.
Trent Wiltshire, the co-author of the report stated the real numbers could be even higher since the ABS data failed to capture all migrant exploitation forms.
He said that the report sheds light on the magnitude of the problem even if the most conservative measure was taken.
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The real numbers could be higher than the ones indicated by the report.
The report states strengthening the enforcement of legal protections by authorities, reforming the visa system, and similar measures could curb the exploitation of migrant workers. Plus, improved mechanisms should be introduced to recover wages.
Mr. Wiltshire also said the research conducted by Grattan showed that the chances of workers between the ages of 20 and 30 years to be underpaid were nearly six times more than that of 30 to 40 olds.
This is because temporary migrants are mostly young adults with fewer skills. They are usually expected to seek employment in sectors where workers are underpaid.
Research conducted by academics Bassina Farbenblum and Laurie Berg in 2018 indicated that only 9% of 4,322 temporary migrant workers took steps to recover their outstanding wages.
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