Migration Amendment (Protecting Migrant Workers) Bill 2021 amends the Migration Act 1958 to introduce new offenses and related civil penalty provisions for unscrupulous employers, labour hire intermediaries, and other persons who exploit migrant workers in a number of ways, including through wage underpayment, pressure to work beyond visa restrictions and withholding of passports.
The purpose of the bill is to combat migrant worker exploitation by supporting visa program integrity and ensuring that the migrant workers in Australia are properly protected and empowered to address unlawful conduct in the workplace.
It has inserted new sections 245AAA and 245AAB to establish new criminal offenses and related civil penalty provisions that apply where a person who is an employer, labour hire intermediary and any other person in the employment chain coerce, or exert undue influence or undue pressure on, a non-citizen to accept or agree to a work arrangement:
- involving a breach of a work-related condition applying to the non-citizen; or
- to satisfy a work-related visa requirement; or
- to avoid an adverse effect on the non-citizen’s immigration status.
The Bill is registered on the Federal Register of Legislation on 24 November 2021 and commences on the day after the act receives royal assent.
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