If you are looking to work in Australia in the fast food industry then you will no longer be able to do so under the 457 visa programme that allows overseas workers up to four years of employment.
The Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton has ended the Fast Food Industry Labour Agreement which saw hundreds of foreign workers take jobs at fast food outlets across Australia.
He said it is part of a plan to reduce the number of unskilled workers being employed from abroad when there are plenty of people in Australia who can do these kind of jobs.
‘Australian workers, particularly young Australians, must be given priority,’ he explained, adding that the fast track arrangements for the fast food industry put in place in 2012 are no longer consistent with putting Australian workers first.
Dutton pointed out that the 457 visa programme spiralled out of control under the previous Government and he is committed to reform that will stop deals being done behind closed doors.
‘The Government is committed to implementing reforms that strengthen Australia’s skilled migration programme to ensure overseas workers supplement rather than provide a substitute for Australian workers,’ said Dutton.
‘Businesses can still make requests under normal labour agreement arrangements to ensure that exceptional circumstances can be considered. Genuine business needs for overseas workers which contribute to economic growth will still be considered,’ he added.
Meanwhile, the Australian Border Force (ABF), Western Australia Police, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) have successfully conducted a major Taskforce Cadena operation in Western Australia targeting a suspected illegal foreign worker operation.
Some 50 suspected illegal worker were located which included 27 unlawful non-citizens and 23 non-citizens who were working in breach of their visa conditions.
Dutton said that it is another example of the Government’s commitment to targeting visa fraud, illegal work and the exploitation of foreign nationals. ‘The Government doesn’t want non-citizens taking Australian jobs and we don’t want workers being ripped off,’ he commented.
‘The organisers of this type of activity, including labour hire intermediaries, blatantly flout the law by organising for overseas workers to come and work illegally in Australia and then exploiting them while they are here,’ he explained.
‘This operation sends a strong message to individuals and syndicates involved that if you are exploiting workers, if you are in Australia without a valid visa, or if you work in breach of your visa conditions, you will be caught,’ he added.
The Government established Taskforce Cadena in June 2015 as a specialist multi-agency taskforce to target and disrupt the organisers of visa fraud, illegal work and the exploitation of foreign workers.
Since its inception, Taskforce Cadena has been active in disrupting and disbanding illegal worker operations with 40 warrants having been executed as part of 14 separate operations.
Employers found to be engaging illegal workers or exploiting foreign nationals may face a range of penalties under the Migration Act and Fair Work Act including hefty fines or criminal prosecution.