27 August 2020: MIGRANT WOMEN EXPERIENCE SHARPEST ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF COVID

27 August 2020

MEDIA RELEASE: MIGRANT WOMEN EXPERIENCE SHARPEST ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF COVID

The Migrant Workers Centre has signed onto the “Working Women Need” campaign, calling on the Morrison Government to provide pandemic support to all working women, including migrant women workers.

Women have been disproportionately burdened by the impacts of COVID-19, with the impact on migrant women even more acute. Migrant women are 11.9% less likely to be employed than non-migrant counterparts, and are more likely to be in insecure work. Women as an overall group are already overwhelmingly in insecure work, with 27% of Australian women in precarious employment. Women have also shouldered the brunt of job losses - ABS data reveals Victorian women are losing their jobs at a rate of five times that of men.

The pay gap is higher for migrant workers, who also have their wages stolen more often. On Equal Pay Day, it is important that this group of workers is recognised and that action is taken to address this injustice. Migrant workers have also been excluded from JobKeeper and JobSeeker and left with no social safety net in Australia.

Over the past months, the Migrant Workers Centre has assisted migrants who have had to withdraw their superannuation as a last resort for rent and groceries. Many workers who contacted the Migrant Workers Centre found they had no superannuation because their employers had not made any super contributions. The Migrant Workers Centre calls on the Morrison Government to provide pandemic support for all working women.

Quotes attributable to Carina Garland, Spokesperson Migrant Workers Centre

“The Morrison Government urgently needs to step up and offer meaningful, ongoing support to ensure migrant women - and all workers - can get through this pandemic.

“Migrant women were already more likely to be in insecure work and experiencing wage theft pre-Covid, and the impact of the pandemic has made access to work worse.

“Migrant workers are locked out of JobKeeper and JobSeeker and have been forced to draw on their superannuation to get by. This is unacceptable.

“Right now, the Morrison government is sending a message that working women aren’t valued, and that migrants aren’t valued.