Wednesday 13 February 2013

Moving to Oz? (X)

A few weeks ago a study commissioned by the Fair Work Ombudsman over the matter of unpaid work experiences and internships was released.

The study was conducted by professors Andrew Stewart and Rosemary Owens, from the University of Adelaide's Law School.

Unpaid work experience, as I remarked here, is a problem affecting graduate and skilled migrant workers arriving in Australia as part of the independent migrant stream. It has an equivalent on unpaid internships offered to Australian undergraduate students and newly graduated professionals.

The video below contains the announcement made by the Fair Work Ombudsman, Nicholas Wilson:

From the University of Adelaide's media release:
"There is significant evidence of unpaid work experience, internships and trial work that could be seen as undermining the award system and other labour standards," says Professor Stewart. (...)
"However, there are real instances of employers who repeatedly use unpaid internships instead of paying someone a wage to perform that labour. At this point, as we've seen in countries like the United States, 'experience' can move into the more dangerous territory of 'exploitation'," she
[Professor Owens] says. (...)
Professor Stewart says: "Free labour can result in employment being squeezed out, which means someone is missing out on making a livelihood. If someone is not earning a fair day's pay for what is actually productive work, this could also mean a breach of the Fair Work Act".
The Fair Work Ombudsman's YouTube site, which can be found here, contains orientation material useful to workers.

These are the links to the Fair Work Ombudsman's website, Facebook page and Twitter page.

[Updated on 24-02-2013: The Unions Australia website is designed to facilitate the process of joining a union.]

I am including the YouTube video as a free service to prospective migrants, young workers and anyone who might be concerned. If you work for the Fair Work Ombudsman and know for a fact that by including that link I am infringing any rights or in any way acting inappropriately, let me know and I'll remove it.

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