Foreign Workers

Are you treating foreign workers fairly?

There has been a lot in the news lately about organisations being investigated by the Fair Work Ombudsman for the unfair treatment of foreign workers. Between 2012 and 2014 there was a 400% increase in substantiated complaints from foreign workers with the Fair Work Ombudsman recovering $345,000 last year.

It is important to understand that foreign workers receive the same protection under the Fair Work Act as domestic workers. That means that they must receive all pay entitlements stated in their Industrial Award or Enterprise Agreement as well as the general protections provided by the National Employment Standards.

I recommend always checking the Industrial Award or Enterprise agreement which applies to your organisation and the employee’s position. Not knowing is not a reasonable excuse, neither is arguing that the employee agreed. There are significant penalties for not complying which could really hurt your business!


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Marisa Ross

HR Advisor

Marisa is an experienced and motivated HR professional with a strong HR generalist and business operations background with a focus on employee relations, performance management, leadership training & development, workers compensation & injury management, and employee retention. Marisa holds a Bachelor of Human Resource Management and a Bachelor of Behavioural Science with a minor in Counselling. Having worked in a variety of industries from SMEs to large blue-chip organisations, Marisa is passionate about enriching employee experience, employee retention, and building leadership capability in people management.

Aimee Grigson

Aimee Grigson

WHS Advisor

Aimee has a strong understanding of Workplace Health and Safety Legislation and standards and has extensive HSEQ experience in a number of industries. Aimee has a great ability to engage across all levels of organisation, including field teams, leadership and external stakeholders. Aimee ensures Health and Safety Management Systems are compliant to legislation, effectively implemented and understood by all. Aimee has a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and qualifications in auditing and incident investigations. Aimee is passionate about coaching and developing small businesses towards a positive safety culture.