$1M help vulnerable migrant workers know their rights

Minister for Children and Youth Justice and Minister for Multicultural Affairs The Honourable Leanne Linard

Vulnerable migrant workers will have greater access to information on workers’ rights in Queensland with $1 million in funding from the Queensland Government to go towards community organisations.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs Leanne Linard said funding of $1 million over four years for the Workers’ Rights Education and Support Services program would help empower workers from a migrant or refugee background.

“This education program will help migrants and refugees understand their rights at work and develop confidence rectifying issues in the workplace,” she said.

“Each year, thousands of migrants and refugees make Queensland their home, and the range of skills, qualifications and professional experience they bring to our state adds considerable value to our economy and society.”

“We know that moving to a new country can be daunting, learning a new language and being unfamiliar with workplace laws and regulations can place some people at risk of not fully understanding their workplace rights as an employee,” she said.

“While the Federal Government is responsible for private sector industrial relations and ensuring compliance with the Act is the responsibility of the Fair Work Ombudsman, we know that there is often limited understanding of worker rights within the migrant workforce as well as a lack of awareness of where to seek support.

Ms. Linard said this program would complement existing government efforts to achieve fairer and safer workplaces in Queensland and lessen the likelihood of worker exploitation.

“During the state election the Queensland Community Alliance called on the Palasczuk Government to make a commit to this program and we are delivering on this,” she said.

Multicultural Australia CEO Christine Castley said she was delighted to be receiving this funding to deliver the program in partnership with the Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT) and Queensland Community Alliance.

The Workers’ Rights Education and Support Services program represents a strong commitment by both Multicultural Australia and the Queensland Government to ensure workplaces are inclusive and safe spaces for everyone,” she said.

“This program is about educating and ensuring that Queenslanders know their rights at work, regardless of cultural background.”

The scope of work includes an impact study and the subsequent design and delivery of education and support services, targeted to vulnerable workers from migrant and refugee backgrounds, including temporary visa holders.

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