This factsheet looks at some of the rights that migrant workers have in Australia.
Migrant workers can be especially vulnerable to forms of workplace exploitation. Slavery, human trafficking for forced labour, sexual servitude and debt bondage are the most extreme forms of exploitation and are crimes.
Australia’s workplace laws require employers to ensure that employees have basic rights in the workplace. Everyone in Australia is protected by Australian laws, not just Australian citizens.
How can non-citizens find out if they are allowed to work in Australia?
Visa conditions can be checked online through Visa Entitlement Verification Online options through the Department of Immigration website (www.immi.gov.au).
It is important that non-citizens understand the conditions of their visa. Working in breach of a visa condition can lead to that visa being cancelled by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
Employers cannot threaten to deport their workers.
Independent legal, migration and referral advice is available on a confidential basis from Anti-Slavery Australia.
Are migrant workers protected by Australian workplace laws?
Under Australian law, there are minimum standards that all workers are entitled to regardless of the visa they hold. These are called National Employment Standards and they include maximum weekly hours, parental leave and other entitlements. Employers cannot contract out of these standards.
For more about forced marriage, see the full ANTI-SLAVERY PROJECT FACT SHEET 11.