Will I be taken advantage of because I am a migrant employee?

Part 2 of a series of blogs on surviving life in Australia.

A fear that potential international jobseekers may have is that they will be taken advantage of. Some job seekers are desperate to leave their country and wonder if their desperation may cause an employer to take unfair advantage of them and treat them worse than a local job applicant because they are now ‘stuck’ in Australia.

I want to alleviate that concern of yours. All employers must adhere to the National Employment Standards.

All employees are entitled to the National Employment Standards, which include eleven minimum employment entitlements. They are:

  • Maximum weekly hours of work
  • Requests for flexible working arrangements
  • Parental leave and related entitlements
  • Annual Leave
  • Sick and carer’s leave and compassionate leave
  • Family and domestic violence leave
  • Community service leave
  • Long service leave
  • Public holidays
  • Notice of termination and redundancy pay
  • Provision of the Fair Work Information Statement and the Casual Employment Information Statement
  • Casual conversion[1]

It is essential to know that migrant workers have always had the same rights and entitlements as other employees working in Australia. The next blogs of the series will discuss the roles and responsibilities of sponsoring employers and the rights and obligations of sponsored employees. If you would like to receive notification of the publication of this blog, please sign up for my newsletter here https://chaleenbotha.com/

Surveys have shown that there still needs to be more alignment between employers and employees regarding what the other feels is a salary that conveys value and appreciation. When the emotional salary is lacking, many employees feel undervalued and underpaid.

It would be best to research the company’s culture you apply to for employment. It is no use ‘just getting here’ when you are dreadfully unhappy at your workplace and constantly worrying whether you made a mistake uprooting your family.

I suggest you look at company reviews on www.glassdoor.com.au and www.seek.com.au. One of the better ways to gauge a company’s culture is by talking to a previous or current employee of the company. It is thus crucial to establish a solid professional network in Australia, and having a LinkedIn profile can significantly aid in this endeavour.

Will my salary be fair, and will I be able to survive?

There are rules and regulations in place when it comes to what salary you are offered. There may be an award that applies to your skill/trade[2]. Once you know whether an award applies to you, you may get a general idea of what benefits and salary apply to you. Employment in Australia can be significantly enhanced by having access to a local Australian recruiter or HR department. Their industry knowledge and familiarity with recruitment guidelines can provide a strong foundation for a successful career in the country.

Many industries in Australia are regulated concerning salary ranges. A simple online search regarding salary ranges in specific sectors will help you see the median salary ranges for your area of employment in various states. You must realise that employers will always want value for their investment and that in today’s market of skills shortages, salaries tend to be more competitive when the candidate’s skills match their needs. It is highly probable that your salary will align with market standards, and you can rest assured that you will probably not be subject to exploitation.

Regarding the second part of your question – you are intimately aware of your lifestyle. You know what you are willing to sacrifice to experience what Australia offers. Please do not rely on social media commentators to decide for you. Do your homework via online searches and speak to someone who can point you in the correct direction regarding the questions you have to ask. The question on your ‘survival’ will be answered in the final part of the series of articles. Once again, sign up for my newsletter to stay current with the publications.

[1] https://www.fairwork.gov.au/tools-and-resources/fact-sheets/minimum-workplace-entitlements/introduction-to-the-national-employment-standards

[2] https://www.fairwork.gov.au/employment-conditions/awards

© Chaleen Botha – All rights reserved

If you require help with creating a resume that highlights your Australian value proposition, or assistance with recruitment or setting up your LinkedIn profile, please feel free to contact me. Don’t hesitate to connect with me on LinkedIn and keep up with my frequent updates on both LinkedIn and  Facebook. You can easily reach me through a LinkedIn message or by finding my contact information here. 

About the Author

Having relocated twice from South Africa to China and then to Australia, and also moving from Queensland to Western Australia, has gained valuable insight into the intricacies of job searching in Australia.

Chaleen, who graduated from the University of South Africa with a background in accountancy, decided to embark on a new journey and discovered a passion for assisting others in their job search. Since 2012 she has played a pivotal role as a job coach, developing LinkedIn profiles and coaching job seekers.

Chaleen was eventually offered a position as a recruiter at a specialised recruitment company and later at an outsourced HR firm. It wasn’t long before she discovered that she had a passion for the recruitment process. Chaleen obtained her recruiter’s license and subsequently established her own recruitment company.

Chaleen enjoys reading, staying fit, and spending time with her family and their two furry pets when she is not working.

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