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.
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