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A Tasmanian business is now in the spotlight after allegations about paying staff as little as $1.35 per hour in Queenstown Tasmania. The matter is currently before the courts and highlights the importance of doing your research and knowing your rights when applying for a working holiday job and beware of potential backpacker scams.

What Fair Work Australia Reports

Fair Work Australia representative Craig Bildstein was quoted saying “We allege that the employer was recruiting working holiday makers wanting to stay in Australia for a second year, but substantially underpaying their minimum lawful entitlements.
We will put to the court that five young backpackers from Italy, the UK and Japan were paid as little as the equivalent of $1.35 an hour when they were entitled to between $22 and $32 an hour, that’s depending on their shifts, and therefore were collectively underpaid almost $43,000.”
Further evidence supplied found that documents lodged by the FWO with the Federal Circuit Court allege the working holiday makers worked for the employer for lengths ranging from one week to four months and received random payments equivalent to rates of between $2.43 and $5.38 an hour.
The FWO claims two of the backpackers were recruited through advertisements via the Gumtree website stating that “88 day second year visa sign off is available”.
One part of the evidence claims the operator promised to illegally sign off an Italian woman’s 88-day regional specified work in late 2013 so she could qualify for the second working holiday visa. The employer then allegedly paid her $270 for four weeks’ work. When Fair Work inspectors came to speak to the employer he stated his staff were guests or volunteers rather than workers.

Backpacker Jobs

Working holiday makers can often be taken advantage of by employers in Australia. This can mean illegal pay rates ( under the award), illegal accommodation conditions, unfair and unsafe working conditions and the list goes on., i. If you are ever confused or suspicious about a position don’t be scared to ask a friend or family member their opinion. If you feel as if its a scam or something illegal contact the fair work ombudsman or contact working holiday jobs and we make a social media post to see if others are working there.
And Remember not all Aussie employers are scammers. It’s the vast minority that wreck it for the good honest ones! If you’ve had a positive experience doing a backpacker job please share your story with us so we can also spread the word.

Don’t Get Scammed

If you have been scammed you should report the crime to your local police office and also get in contact with Fair Work Australia. You should also make other people aware of the situation by sharing your story with our community.
If you’re looking for a working holiday job to keep the travelling dream going check out the job board, it’s free and easy to join.
If you have any cool travel stories please share them with the thousands of visitors we received every week.

Source ABC Online

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Dimi /

G'day Guys, My name is Dimi, I'm one of the admins/starters of Workingholidayjobs.com.au . Freddie and I started this community to help working holiday makers and harvest workers find jobs in an easy and transparent manner. We're not just here to help you finding jobs, anything related to your working holiday down under, we will help try find a way to make it easier for you too achieve. Getting your tax done, deals, travel spots... you name it. If you ever have any questions or feedback please don't hesitate to ask. We're always looking for ways to improve the site and help meet our members needs and build a stronger community. Hope you're doing well and best of luck. Cheers Dimi

2 Responses to “Backpacker Scams: Paid $1.35 An Hour!”

  1. Jamie Reid

    Hi, I’m a 30yr old Scottish male.
    I’ve been working on a farm in Chidlow WA, the advert said it was a paid position and you would qualify for 2nd year visa and the owners was 26yrs old but when I arrived there I then found out that the owners was in there 60ss and it wasn’t a paid postition and I’ve had to pay for my own food etc as owners was trying to supply 3yr old meat from there last kill everyday, also they wouldn’t allow me to shower after working my 8hrs plus an extra 4 everyday. Being on this farm has cost me nearly all my savings and I’ve only been there 4weeks so I now can’t afford to travel elsewhere to consider another placement.

    Really need some help please.

  2. Laura B.

    Unfortunately, I’ve met a lot of young travellers in that situation, unpaid, working extra hours, but some of them are ready to a lot to stay here! And I can totally understand that: an unpaid job is better than no job at all!

    As for Fair Work, I’m sure a lot of backpackers don’t know anything about this organisation, they should be more informed for their own good, and those who know, well maybe they don’t want to contact them, beause it would mean less job opportunities…


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