Foreign workers to be paid at ‘market rates’ in Australia

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Australia, September 7, 2009 – Foreign workers who are recently approved their working visa will have to be paid “market rates”under a further reduction of this that allows employers to bring in temporary skilled labour.

Facts have been stated that the number of workers on 457 visas at June 30 was more than 77,000, compared with a peak of more than 83,000 at the end of February. Demand for the visas has fallen because of the global downturn. The number of these visas granted to workers in June 2009 was 39 per cent lower than in June 2008.

Australian Government had made it clear temporary skilled overseas workers should not be employed ahead of locals because they were cheaper. Immigration Minister Chris Evans said the 457 program was ”designed to supplement – not replace – the local workforce when there are lots of unskilled employees.

Employers should pay workers on these visas the minimum salary level of $45,220 or the award rate. This way they can get less than Australian workers in the same workplace who may be on market rates above awards.

Senator Evans also stated that trades employee in mining or other industries where there was high order for skills were often paid well above the award rates.

”The payment of market salary rates will ensure that overseas workers are not used as a cheap form of labour or used to undercut Australian pay and conditions,” Senator Evans said.

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