The Migrant Workers Taskforce was established in 2016 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect vulnerable workers. It was asked to identify further proposals for improvements in law, law enforcement and investigation, and other practical measures to more quickly identify and rectify any cases of migrant worker exploitation.
On 2 April 2019, the Australian Government announced measures in the 2019-20 Budget responding to recommendations in the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce Report. Additional funding will be provided to the Fair Work Ombudsman to bolster enforcement action against employers who exploit vulnerable workers. Funding will also be provided to enhance resources to ensure vulnerable workers are aware of their workplace rights.
Also stemming from this year’s Budget is the development of the National Labour Hire Registration Scheme to offer a balanced approach to protect vulnerable workers, target rogue operators and level the playing field for businesses that do the right thing, while leaving the labour hire industry as a whole, intact. The Government is committed to working with the labour hire industry on the final details of the Scheme.
The Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, released the report of the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce (the Taskforce) on 7 March 2019.