Supporting migrant workers through the health crisis

April 08, 2020 |

The Federation for Community Legal Centres Victoria and many of our members have joined a group of 124 organisations calling for the JobKeeper wage subsidy to be extended to migrant workers. 

Migrant workers contribute significantly to our workforce, economy, and culture. We believe they should also have access to JobKeeper payments.

This action is being led by one of our members, the Migrant Workers Centre, who have done amazing work in this area. The Centre's Director, Matt Kunkel, said:

'We cannot afford to leave anyone behind. Excluding 1.1 million temporary visa holders from any income support will push them onto the streets at a time when food and housing security is essential for fighting this pandemic.'

'There are more than 100 organisations on this list from right across civil society, calling for the government to extend income support to all. The government must listen and act. It has a duty of care to support those who need it most, the health and wellbeing of our communities depends on it.'

'If we don’t expand the wage subsidy to include temporary migrant workers they will be forced on to the streets at the height of a pandemic – we can’t allow this to happen and this is why over 100 organisations have come together to call for a wage subsidy that covers all workers.'

'The government’s move to leave out temporary visa holders ignores the fact that the vast majority of people on temporary visas either can’t get home because of closed borders or they do not have enough savings to pay for an airfare home'

Read the joint statement from 124 other organisations calling on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to extend the payment to migrant workers ensuring that all workers in Australia are able to access this crucial support during the health crisis.

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