Workplace Discrimination in Australia

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Krishna Kumaran
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The Australian Human Rights Commission takes it upon itself to ensure that a person is not discriminated because he/she is or has been an immigrant. The Fair Work Act is the key piece of Commonwealth legislation regulating employment and workplace relations.

It takes place when a person is treated less favourably, and is not given the same opportunities or remuneration/compensation as others in a similar situation, because of their immigration status.

When such an incident takes place, it calls for serious action, as it did in the case below.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured AUD 104,000 (USD 71,800) in penalties against the operators of a Crust Gourmet Pizza franchise outlet in Hobart, Tasmania after they discriminated against four migrant workers by paying them much less than Australian employees.

The company, QHA Foods Pty Ltd, has been penalised AUD 80,000 (USD 55,279). Two of the company’s directors and shareholders, Anandh Kumarasamy and Haridas Raghuram, have each been penalised an additional AUD 12,000 (USD 8,291), in the Federal Circuit Court. They were involved in managing the outlet.

QHA Food and both Kumarasamy and Raghuram admitted committing several breaches of workplace laws, including the provision of the Fair Work Act that makes it unlawful to discriminate against employees based on their nationality.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said that Fair Work Inspectors investigated the matter after receiving a request for assistance from a migrant worker. Judge Barbara Baker said the four migrant workers were vulnerable due to their limited understanding of Australia’s workplace laws and the conduct towards them was deliberate.

It works both ways as well. A resource who unknowingly breaks the law, will bring a black mark not only to himself but the company he is representing as well.

The consequence for non-compliance is more than just paying a fine. It involves jail time for employers as well as employees. Ignorance is not an excuse. This is what happens when individuals relocate to a new country, without adequate knowledge of the laws of the land, and what they are entitled to.

While making sure that you are not breaking any rules in a new land is critical, don’t let anyone take you for granted. The solution is simple. Bring in a global employment agency.

Global Employment Agency

The role of a global employment agency plays a vital role here. Individuals relocating abroad, or companies deploying their resources overseas for the purpose of secondment would do well if they contacted a human resource specialist.

It is not just about being placed; a lot more is at stake. The professional growth, for instance, would not be possible if the expat is not treated well or given his dues.

Future Focus Infotech: Why us?

We at Future Focus Infotech are sticklers for compliance of the local laws of the land. Understanding international labour law is vital when you take your business operations overseas. Frequent changes in the laws of different country’s legal system bring in various complications.

As a global employment agency, we ensure that we are up-to-date on the laws of the land. We, along with our local partners across the globe, use our experience and expertise to take complete care of our resources during their stay overseas.

Avoid delays in your paperwork and ensure that the plan to expand your business does not get impaired in any way.

The importance of maintaining Compliance of labour laws is very simple. It leads to the protection of both employers and employees. Future Focus Infotech can bring these value adds to your table while you focus on your core job. Don’t let paperwork stop you from spreading your wings. Connect with us

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