Dec 2018 | Unions press ALP to remove 40-hour work restriction for international students

Date: 15 Dec 2018

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald 

When Neelam arrived in Australia from Nepal in 2013, she says she worked for just $14 an hour, cash-in-hand as a cleaner in the Sydney suburb of Chatswood.

Legally only allowed to work 40-hours a fortnight on a student visa, she says many international students don’t report underpayment because they feared losing their visa, and don’t know who they could reach out to for help.

"I was too scared to advocate about this issue because it is impossible to pay our bills and college fees if we do not work more than 20 hours a week," she said.

A future Labor government would stop information about international students who report underpayment of wages from being shared between the Fair Work Ombudsman and Department of Home Affairs under a resolution to its national party conference.

Federal Labor Party delegates will on Saturday vote on a pledge to replace the 40-hour a fortnight work restriction for international students with tough requirements for course attendance and course completion.

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