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Overseas workers in the hospitality industry A guide for hospitality industry employers prepared by the Australian Hotels Association May 2012 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Overseas workers in the hospitality industry A guide for hospitality industry employers prepared by the Australian Hotels Association May 2012 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Overseas workers in the hospitality industry A guide for hospitality industry employers prepared by the Australian Hotels Association May 2012 1

2 Raising Awareness The AHA has been funded by the Australian Government to provide information to hospitality industry employers to raise awareness of and combat people trafficking and labour exploitation in hotels. One of several industry-based projects funded to support the Government’s $38.3 million/4 year commitment to combating people trafficking. The AHA is a member of the National Roundtable on People Trafficking. 2

3 What is People Trafficking? “People trafficking is the physical movement of people across and within borders, through deceptive means, coercion or force, for the purpose of exploitation.” 3

4 Hotels can be a target Employment of overseas workers – Cookery and housekeeping are areas within hotels with higher proportions of overseas workers. Contracted labour – Private labour hire firms. Supply chain – Employment practices of product and service providers 4

5 The AHA’s project Four-page educational brochure distributed to all 5,000-plus AHA members. AHA national website ( now includes additional resources for AHA state/territory workplace relations managers available to provide advice to members. 5

6 Employer guide Employer guide o What is people trafficking? o What does people trafficking have to do with hotels? o What penalties apply to employers? o What are people trafficked? o What is the Australian Government doing? o How do I know if a person has been trafficked? o What can employers do to combat people trafficking? o What if you suspect someone has been trafficked? o Legally employing overseas workers 6

7 Penalties for employers The Migration Act 1958 makes it an offence to knowingly or recklessly employ or refer work to a person who does not have a valid visa or is working in breach of their visa conditions. Penalties up to $13,200 and two year’s imprisonment for individuals and up to $66,000 per illegal worker for companies. 7

8 Why are people trafficked? The most visible form of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, but a range of other purposes apply including: o Forced labour o Slavery o Forced marriage o Street begging o Forced recruitment into militia; and o Harvesting of body organs 8

9 Australian Government response $100 million invested since 2003 Broad strategy addresses full trafficking cycle, from recruitment to reintegration. Includes measures for prevention, detection, prosecution and victim support. The AHA’s project is just one of a number of industry-based projects designed to support the strategy. 9

10 Signs a person may have been trafficked The person appears to be servicing a debt to a third party (such as a recruitment service) The person is unable to terminate their employment Personal documents are being held by the employer (ie, passport The worker appears to be subjected to or threatened with violence from their employer The person is confined or isolated in the workplace The person is living in accommodation controlled by the employer The person has less favourable working conditions than other workers The person is in the control of another person and is not allowed to speak for him/herself The person has an intermediary who ‘holds’ or ‘invests’ the person’s money for him/her. The person does not understand the terms and conditions of his/her employment. 10

11 What can employers do? Be aware of and educate staff on trafficking practices and labour exploitation. Ensure company policies set out the rights and responsibilities of employees under the law, including on minimum wages, working hours and overtime. Ensure all employees have a written contract and understand their employment terms and conditions. Use only reputable recruitment and employment agencies for contract labour and be aware of their practices. Monitor their activities and behaviours. Treat all workers fairly and equally in accordance with workplace relations law. Check supply chains to ensure slave labour has not been used and that worker human rights are upheld. Train managers and HR personnel on identifying exploitative labour practices and how to seek remedies. Where necessary engage the appropriate government and law enforcement agencies. Always check the working rights of prospective employees. 11

12 If you suspect someone has been trafficked Australian Federal Police – 131 AFP (237) Fair Work Ombudsman – 13 13 94 In emergency call 000 Australian Red Cross provides victim support services (referred by the AFP) with the support of the Australian Government 12

13 Legally employing overseas workers Overseas workers are an important and legitimate part of the hospitality workforce. Most common worker visa is the Temporary Business (Long Stay) Visa – also known as the 457 Visa. Employers can also negotiate Labour Agreements with the Department of Immigration & Citizenship. A template Labour Agreement for hospitality/tourism businesses is currently being developed. The minimum salary for a 457 Visa holder is currently $49,330 per annum. 13

14 For more information 14

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