Be aware: Work exploitation of international students

Are you aware of Australia’s minimum pay rates?

The Fair Work Ombudsman help employees and employer understand and follow Australian workplace laws. They also help employees resolve workplace issues.

The recent story on their News and Media releases praised the resilience of an international student, who gave evidence to the Fair Work Ombudsman and stood up for her work rights. The employer and his company, who refused to pay the international student for any of the work she performed, has been penalised $72 000 and also faces potential criminal for any future underpayments.

This sends a clear message that exploiting international students is serious conduct with serious consequences.

Be aware that Department of Immigration will generally not cancel a visa, detain or remove individuals, provided they have reported their circumstance to the Fair Work Ombudsman.

In recognition that some employees are reluctant to complain about their workplace issues, the Fair Work Ombudsman now has an “Anonymous Report” function to allow the community to report potential workplace breaches. Intelligence can be provided confidentially at

If you need assistance, you can visit or contact the Fair Work infoline on 13 13 94. An interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50.