Two Darwin businesses have been caught paying Working Holiday Visa holders less than $5 an hour! One of the businesses was a café and the other a painting business, however, neither business cooperated with the Fair Work Ombudsman once caught out. As a result, they were both taken to the Federal Court, and ordered to repay all the unpaid wages to the Working Holiday Visa holders as well as being fined $73,000 and $15,000 respectively.
Believe it or not, these are not isolated incidents with the Fair Work Ombudsman returning $926,000 to 570 employees in the Norther Territory last financial year! The director of the Fair Work Ombudsman, Craig Bildstien, has stated that “employers [like this] run the risk of tarnishing our reputation overseas as a great place for visitors and tourists to come for a working holiday.”
The Ombudsman will now undertake a national review of wages and other working conditions of overseas workers. In Australia, national workplace laws prescribe mandatory working conditions such as minimum wages, rest breaks, minimum hours and a safe workplace. If you believe you are not getting a fair deal, remember that there are options available to you!