This factsheet looks at some of the rights that migrant workers have in Australia. Knowing these rights can help reduce the vulnerability of migrant workers to exploitation.
Migrant workers can be susceptible to workplace exploitation. In extreme cases, this exploitation can take the form of slavery, forced labour, servitude or debt bondage. These practices are serious crimes under Australian law.
All workers in Australia are covered by the Fair Work Act 2009, and have the same basic rights and protections. There are minimum standards that employers cannot contract out of, called the National Employment Standards.
It is very important for migrant workers to know the conditions attached to their visa, because this might impose restrictions on the number of hours that can be worked. Working in breach of a visa condition can lead to the visa being cancelled. However, employers are not allowed to threaten to deport their workers. Visa conditions can be checked online through Visa Entitlement Verification Online on the DIBP website.