Handbook for migrant workers released

FIRST Union has released a handbook for migrant workers in New Zealand to help protect them against exploitation. The New Zealand Migrant Workers’ Rights Passport contains information on employment rights for migrants, collective agreements, and legal and mental health support services.

The Government has also announced a consultation group representing migrants, businesses, unions and international students. Additionally, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will undertake in-depth research on temporary migrant worker exploitation in New Zealand.

FIRST Union said that New Zealand’s exploitation of migrants is unacceptable.

“Whenever our authorities look into it they find gross exploitation of workers’ rights that seriously affects their ability to live a safe and happy life. When this occurs it financially ruins rather than helps workers and it has left some people in abhorrent work situations that greatly affect their mental and physical wellbeing. It’s a relief that we now have a Government that is taking the exploitation of migrant workers seriously.”

The National Consumer Survey 2016, conducted by Consumer Protection, found that knowing a business treats its workers fairly regularly affects consumers’ purchasing decisions. Forty-three percent of consumers said that knowing whether a business treats its workers fairly affects their decision on where to purchase ‘always’ or ‘most of the time’, whereas 11 per cent said that it ‘never’ affects their purchasing decisions.

Anyone concerned about their employment situation, or the situation of someone they know, should call 0800 20 90 20 where they can report their concerns in a safe environment.