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Five ways to spot foreign worker exploitation

Identifying foreign worker exploitation

The exploitation of foreign workers can have a lasting negative impact on Australian communities and individuals, including:

  • underpayment and substandard treatment of vulnerable visa holders in workplaces
  • closure of small to medium businesses due to unfair competitive advantage gained by operators not following the law
  • reputational damage for rural and metropolitan industry sectors affected by these operators
  • loss of government revenue, including loss of taxes
  • reputational damage to Australia’s international standing.

Five signs to look out for that might indicate a company is participating in the exploitation of foreign workers include:

  1. the company is able to seriously undercut competitors
  2. workers are underpaid or paid irregularly
  3. workers seem to be living in substandard conditions
  4. workers seem afraid or anxious
  5. company owners or directors enjoy an extravagant lifestyle that doesn’t appear to match their income.

Anyone who is aware of an individual, business or employer who might be facilitating visa fraud or illegal work is urged to contact Border Watch Allegations and Referrals on 1800 009 623 or report them immediately to us using our Immigration and Citizenship Online Report

For more information about the ETA please visit our website

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