Employers Underpaying Migrant Workers by as much as $5 per hour

Wage Teives

United voice WA, the Union for hospitality workers and cleaners, are appalled by the exploitation and underpayment of migrant workers uncovered in a two year investigation by Unions NSW.

The report comes in just months after popular Perth restaurant chain Hans Café was fined for underpaying migrant workers, including international students and working visa holders.

In the report released by Unions NSW, two separate audits conducted in 2016 and 2017 on 200 job advertisements found 78% of the jobs were advertised below the minimum industry award rate.

The audits looked at the jobs advertised in Chinese, Korean and Spanish, as well as Facebook ads.

Hospitality workers and cleaners were the hardest hit with a combined total of 125 of the 200 job ads falling below the minimum pay.

Some jobs were advertised as low as $4.20 an hour, with the average underpayment of jobs $5.28 less per hour.

The report found hospitality workers were being paid an average of $13.60 per hour, well below the award of $19.39 and an average advertised pay of a cleaner at $17.26 as opposed to the minimum award rate of 18.66 an hour.

The report found that immigrants, temporary visa holders and international students were among the most underpaid, with their employers taking advantage of language barriers and their lack of knowledge on workplace rights.

United Voice members have seen this is happening in Western Australia and are not surprised by the findings in the Unions NSW audit.

United Voice WA believes the State and Federal Government should take immediate action to stop this exploitation.

Wage theft is illegal and United Voice members will not stand for employers taking advantage of the vulnerability of workers.

If you suspect you are being underpaid or have any queries regarding your pay we encourage you to contact member support to discuss your issues.

You can also show your disappointment in businesses who are committing wage theft by reporting them to the ‘Wage Thieves’ website, which aims at naming and shaming employers who advertise and underpay their workers.