February 17, 2017

When it comes to combatting worker exploitation, this Government has failed time and time again, making it more than obvious protecting vulnerable workers is not on their priority list.
Bizarrely, the Government this week leaked a story to the News Limited, claiming that its long-promised worker exploitation legislation would be introduced into the parliament this week.
We are at the end of the parliamentary week and no legislation has been seen.
Yesterday, the Government’s Migrant Workers’ Taskforce released an update of outcomes from its second meeting. While making some sensible suggestions, this Taskforce is no replacement for a strong legislative response from the Government.  We note that the Government even misled its own taskforce into believing it was going to introduce a Bill in the first sittings of parliament to address worker exploitation.

Sadly, no such legislation is to be seen.
In fact, in the eight parliamentary sitting weeks since the election, we’ve seen two anti-worker pieces of legislation progressed but certainly not one piece of legislation that is pro-worker.
Since the election we have seen horrific examples of exploitation at workplaces around the country continue to be reported, including the outrageous “cash-back” practices at 7-Eleven and the underpayment and alleged visa fraud at Domino’s.
Labor introduced legislation last year to prevent workers being exploited, which the Government could have supported if it was serious about workers’ rights.
This Government isn’t interested in the wellbeing or safety of workers, they are interested in quick political wins.
Australians have every right to ask why Mr Turnbull and his Government have not prioritised taking action in response to multiple cases of worker exploitation?