Wage Theft in Silence
The recently released report, Wage Theft In Silence: Why Migrant Workers Do Not Recover Their Unpaid Wages in Australia, reveals that although most migrant workers are paid well below minimum wage, the overwhelming majority endure wage theft in silence. The report draws on responses of 4,322 international students, backpackers and other temporary migrant workers, who participated in the National Temporary Migrant Work Survey. The report examines the barriers that stopped migrant workers from coming forward and provides government, business and education providers with recommendations for urgently needed reforms. Key findings include:
- Among international students and backpackers who acknowledged they had been underpaid in Australia, the overwhelming majority suffered wage theft in silence. Fewer than one in ten took action to recover the wages they were owed.
- Of the small number who tried to recover wages, two in three recovered nothing. Fewer than one in six received the full amount they were owed.
- Only 3% of underpaid participants contacted the Fair Work Ombudsman and well over half of them recovered none of their unpaid wages.